Richmond reacts to move from COVID-19 Tier 1 to Lockdown

People in Richmond, North Yorkshire, have expressed a mixture of views and opinions on the town's proposed move from Tier 1 COVID-19 restrictions to national lockdown.

One man told ITV News "we’ve kept ourselves safe, so why should we be penalised?"

Another argued "I can understand some of the justification for it, but I think it’s unfair when areas are much lower than others that it applies to the whole country"

One woman said, "if it’s all locked down then hopefully we’ll all be safe."

Another woman said, "I don’t think there was any choice because it was becoming so dangerous."

Businesses in the town are resigned to having to adapt to whatever coronavirus restrictions are thrown at them, but insist the government must stick to its pledge to continue its furlough system for however long the second lockdown lasts.

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The owner of Mocha Chocolate shop and cafe, Dennis Graves, installed new outdoor seating to cater for customers who could not mix with other households inside his shop once Richmond moved up to Tier 2 restrictions.

Within hours he was having to adapt again, following the announcement by Boris Johnson that there would be a second national lockdown for a month from Thursday.

We’ve adapted a lot over the last sort of six months and we’re still adapting. I mean we’ll be doing takeaway food and drinks, but yeh, it’s difficult to accept that up here when we’re not seeing as many infection rates.

Dennis Graves, Mocha
Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The director of Rustique Restaurant, Tom Park, employs around 10 staff members in Richmond and a further 55 employees at his other restaurants.

He told ITV News he is comfortable with the new lockdown, on the condition the government honours its promise to continue paying his staff 80 per cent furlough payments for as long as it lasts.

Obviously it’s bad news, but I think there’s some winners and losers in situations like this and on one hand we don’t feel it is fair, but there again, I think we’re all in it together and we just need to deal with the situation.

Tom Park, Rustique Restaurant

North Yorkshire County Council Director of Health, Richard Webb, told ITV News although the infection rates in the area have been relatively low, compared to other parts of England, he felt the Prime Minister's announcement on Saturday was the correct decision.

He called on everyone in Richmond and the surrounding areas to abide by the new rules and said: "The data that the Prime Minister shared on Saturday night was pretty scary, so I can absolutely understand why this decision has been taken. This is a national lockdown. We all have to abide by it. What I’d ask people to do now is start to prepare for Thursday."