Hundreds of businesses across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire welcome customers back as lockdown measures ease

Lockdown restrictions have eased today, Monday 12th April, allowing hundreds of businesses to reopen as England takes the next step out of the coronavirus lockdown.

Non-essential shops can now welcome back customers, with some measures in place, giving more freedoms to millions of people.

Efforts are being made to rebuild the hospitality industry - worth £9 billion pounds to our region - as it emerges from lockdown today.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes can now start to serve people outdoors with no need for a substantial meal to order a drink and no curfew. Six people or two households can now meet.

A nightclub in Sheffield has teamed up with a bowling alley to open a large outdoor pop-up venue.

The general manager, Lewis Briggs, said that they have over 1000 bookings during the next four weeks.

At the Old George Coffee House in Barnsley - it's been takeaway only for months, the owner of the cafe, Andrew McCulloch said: "Really looking forward to it. Looking forward to getting customers back in, having that community vibe again which we all know and love."

However, a recent study suggests that only 38% of hospitality venues in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have an outside area, with some venues in Harrogate building new ones in order to open.

Erjon Biqiri, who owns the Taverna Restuarant in the town said: "There are eight tables here, maybe 16 to 18 seats.

"It's a tiny portion because in the full restaurant they can fit 140 people. After 17th of May which people can come in, things are going to be better."

The leisure industry will begin reopening from today too. Self-catering accommodation can welcome back single households, although the use of shared facilities will still be banned.

Stuart Hardy, the owner of Country Meadows Caravan Park in Ingoldmells says he is looking forward to opening after a tough year.

He adds he is hoping there will be a lot more staycations during 2021.

Non-essential retail has also re-opened for the first time since January.

There have been large queues outside shops such as Primark across the country, with many people venturing into town and city centres.

Queues outside Primark in Hull. Credit: MEN Media

Gyms can re-open, as can hairdressers, barbers, nail salons and beauticians.

Experts say they can't put a figure on the cost of three lockdowns, but are optimistic about the recovery. 

Beauty Salons can now welcome clients back through their doors. Credit: ITV News

James Mason, from Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "Businesses have closed but many businesses have managed to stay open.

"But, what we must get excited about is how we can grow that nine billion pounds for the future, ten to eleven, to twelve, but also the growth in employment, the domestic tourism boom we were expecting is only good news for the region."

As of April 12, England will also reopen:

  • Libraries and community centres

  • Indoor swimming pools

  • Spas

  • Zoos

  • Theme parks

Boris Johnson confirmed on Easter Monday, April 5, that a gradual lifting of measures would go ahead as planned after data confirmed the government’s data for easing Covid restrictions had been met.

These are the four tests for easing restrictions at each stage:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully

  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated

  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations that would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS

  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

It comes as more than 31 million people have now received a single dose of the vaccine with over 6.5m having received both jabs.