While many non-essential businesses were allowed to open several weeks ago, on Saturday (July 4) it was the turn of the pubs, restaurants, cafes and hairdressing salons to open their doors again, if they had all suitable arrangements in place.
Marlon and Gemma Jones, who run the Boar’s Head pub in Newmarket, said there had been a queue outside the door when they opened at midday on Saturday - but everyone was respectful of the extra hygiene measures that had been put in place, and mindful of other customers’ potential anxieties about coronavirus.
Marlon said: “We’ve tried to keep it so that it still feels like a pub, but just asking people to please be aware. It’s just the ‘new normal’.
“If everyone stays aware, then we can just keep the place clean and move forward.”
The couple added that they were trying not to encourage bookings or time limits, as the Boar’s Head is a ‘community pub’ where customers should feel comfortable and relaxed.
Fellow publican Sharon Davies, at the King’s Head in Mercer Row, agreed that her ‘lovely customers’ had been ‘very respectful’ of the new guidelines put in place.
Sharon was also delighted that her hotel was fully booked on Saturday evening, although she is sadly not permitted to host live music at this stage.
Meanwhile, following her first day back at Clippers hair salon in Aswell Street, owner Sarah Pocklington said: “The day went smoothly. It’s been so nice to see the clients again! The kindness and appreciation they’ve shown for us has been amazing.
“We are fully booked until the end of July, and August is booking up fast also.
“Due to cleaning and disinfecting, appointment times need to be extended meaning we are working much longer hours to fit in the same number of people in a day.
“Visors and masks are extremely tiring to work in, but with time I’m sure we will get used to them. Our main priority is everyone’s safety.”
Popular cafes such as the Little Rose Tea Room in Aswell Street, and Auction House in the Cornmarket, were also keen to reassure customers that social distancing and hygiene measures are in place, and visitors will be warmly welcomed back to dine in.
• Pick up a copy of this week’s Leader for more so-called ‘Super Saturday’ pictures from both Louth and Mablethorpe.