Weston-super-Mare's Grand Pier prepares to welcome back visitors as lockdown eases
One of the West Country's biggest destinations - the Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare - reopens tomorrow morning (Saturday 4 July) after being closed for three months.
Its owners say lockdown has been a real challenge for them, especially when the weather this year would normally have meant a bumper season.
Director of The Grand Pier, Michelle Michael said, "We had the best weather we could possibly wish for. It would have been perfect for us and of course you lament those great days and fun days you could have had entertaining so many people. But first and foremost was the safety of everybody."
Coronavirus has also had a personal cost for Michelle.
During lockdown she lost four members of her family.
She said: "We know all too well how it can affect you particularly in lockdown where you can't grieve together, where you can't be together, where you can't support each other, so it's been really tough.
"Most of the people we lost were older than me, they were very careful, they were in lockdown weeks before the official lockdown.
"It was just one of those things. No one knew how they caught it or why they caught it. It just shows, you can be extremely careful and still have this happen to you."
The Grand Pier is due to open at 10am tomorrow.
It has put in extensive safety measures by widening walkways, adding hand sanitiser stations and employing more staff that will constantly clean machines and rides.
Staff will now wear face masks and the numbers of people allowed on the pier will be restricted, so social distancing can take place.
Soft play areas will remain closed, to comply with government guidelines.