Covid-19 lockdown roadmap: Region's businesses look to the future

  • Watch Jon Hill's report as the Government announces nightclubs could open from 21 June.


Businesses across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire are beginning to look towards the future while assessing the impact the pandemic has had over the past year.

On Monday, Boris Johnson announced the country's four-step roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions, starting with the return of schools and colleges from 8 March as part of Step 1 of the plan.

Two people from separate households will be allowed to meet outdoors for recreational purposes from 8 March and care home residents will be allowed a single visitor, with visitors required to take a lateral flow test and wear personal protective equipment.

Outdoor hospitality including pubs could reopen as early as 12 April, with indoor hospitality opening no earlier than 17 May. Nightclubs could be allowed to reopen on 21 June.

The roadmap is made up of the four following steps:


With plans set out for the reopening of the hospitality and tourism sector too, we have reaction from across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire:

TOURISM

Self-contained holidays within the UK could be permitted as early as April 12.

Under normal circumstances the tourism sector contributes more than nine billion pounds a year to the economy in Yorkshire.

But since last March, with multiple lockdowns and restrictions in place, many businesses have suffered.

In seaside towns like Filey, many guest houses and shops are independently run and owners say they need a summer season to survive.

  • Watch Katie Oscroft's report from Filey:


EDUCATION

All pupils in all year groups in England can go back to the classroom from 8 March, with outdoor after-school sports and activities also allowed to restart. Secondary school pupils will need to wear masks both in corridors and in the classroom.

Pupils will return to school in March Credit: PA Images

The principal of Carr Manor Community School in Leeds, Lucy Lakin, welcomes the return of children to the classroom, but says it will rely on "good relationships between schools and families" to build trust.

Over in East Yorkshire, Jonny Uttley who is the chief executive of the Education Alliance which runs South Hunsley School said there is a big question over how testing can be carried out.

He said: "We are clear about the date, we're very clear about how we can keep young people safe because we did it in autumn, I think the big question for us now is how we deliver on testing.

"If we are to try and test students twice in that first week, that's going to be a huge logistical challenge."

Watch Michael Billington's report:


Read more:


HOSPITALITY

The Prime Minister announced that outdoor service could resume from 12 April, as part of Step 2 of the roadmap. While mid May could see the start of Step 3 - with pubs and restaurants set to open indoors.

Leeds bar owner, Martin Greenhow, says he is "more optimistic" than yesterday, adding: "We're looking forward to getting back to work, and that's what everybody in hospitality wants to do.

"We want to be back at work, we want to be contributing to society, not a drain on society."

Following the Prime Minister's address in the House of Commons today, the MP for Cleethorpes, Martin Vickers questioned Boris Johnson about continued support for the hospitality sector.

The Prime Minister responded, saying the government will support businesses throughout the pandemic, adding that he is "absolutely certain that the hospitality sector in Cleethorpes and the surrounding area will bounce back very strongly indeed."


NIGHTCLUBS

The doors of nightclubs have remained firmly closed since the first lockdown was announced on 23 March last year.

But now nightclub bosses can start to look ahead to the future, with a potential opening date set for 21 June, Step 4 in the Government's roadmap out of lockdown.

But the boss of one of the region's biggest chains of nightclubs says more Government help is urgently needed if venues are to survive until they can reopen.

Nightclubs could reopen from 21 June Credit: ITV Calendar

Paul Kinsey says his chain has lost £7million in takings since the start of the pandemic. He explained: "We started off 23 March last year we had 226 people on our payroll, we now have 13.

"Now the vast majority of those were on furlough until the Government changed the scheme in October forcing us to pay up to 40% of their wages and there was no cash to do that.

"So in terms of our own company, we're a very small company in the scheme of things, but we've not had one penny of income for a year and we've expended something in the region of £1m historic costs that's sitting there that we're going to have to try and fund in some way shape or form"


WEDDINGS

Large scale wedding venue operators have welcomed news that they could be back in business by midsummer.

Receptions can go ahead from 12 April with up to fifteen guests, while the cap on numbers could be gone by 21 June.

Berties at Elland near Halifax is one of the venues that will benefit from the relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown rules.

Katie Cowling is the managing director. She's looking forward to the relaxation of lockdown rules, but says, "without Government help, it's going to be hard to get to June".