5 July 2021, 23:21 | Updated: 5 July 2021, 23:24
Business leaders have welcomed the prime minister’s plans to scrap most legal restrictions on so-called “Freedom Day”.
The plans will see capacity caps, enforced mask-wearing and social distancing gone if the scheduled easing of restrictions goes ahead on July 19.
“You want a party? Come and party with us,” said Tom Caulker, who owns the World Headquarters nightclub in Newcastle.
“One minute past midnight, we’ll be hard at it, sold out, really going for it.”
He added: “It’ll be a cause for extreme celebration being able to get World Headquarters back up and running.”
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George Branford, who runs Intent 91, a gym in Worthing, also welcomed Boris Johnson’s plans.
“This is great news for us… it means our members will be able to come in without any restrictions and it really gives us hope and belief that we can move forward and have success as a start up business,” he said.
He said that lifting of capacity limits in particular would help the business thrive.
“Obviously working at the rate that we are now is not viable long term and it is a matter of months before we end up having to close down,” he said.
“So for people’s health and wellbeing and the local area, Worthing, I think this is a huge success.”
Face masks will no longer be mandatory when restrictions ease, and venue capacity caps will be a thing of the past.
However, some have reacted with trepidation.
Connie Cain, director of Milk, a bar in Reading, said although the easing of restrictions would be good for business she still worries it is happening too fast.
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“From a personal point of view I think – I mean, I’m not a scientist, we hope that they’ve listened to scientists – but from a personal point of view I feel like it might be a bit too soon,” she said.
“I don’t really know really, business-wise it’s great, but personally I’m still a little bit anxious and wary.”