‘One small step for men, one giant leap for mankind’ as Fenland prepares to re-open pubs, clubs, restaurants and hair salons

GER Club posted this photo of being prepaed for the weekend. "We are socially distant ready. Please

GER Club posted this photo of being prepaed for the weekend. "We are socially distant ready. Please head to the hall via the main entrance you need to register and have your temperature taken, then enjoy," says the club on their Facebook page. - Credit: Archant

Thousands are expected to emulate astronaut Neil Armstrong’s immortal words “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as Fenland pubs, restaurants and hair salons re-open.

With pubs in particular inundated with multiple pages of rules and regulations, a nervous approach is being taken to the unlocking of a sizeable chunk of the Fenland economy,

New figures show that at the height of lockdown more than 200 businesses were reported to Fenland Council for allegedly breaching Covid-19 regulations.

Chief executive Paul Medd said: “No formal enforcement action has been required although a low number of warnings have been given.”

Fear of the new regulatory regime and what’s required has prompted some clubs and pubs to delay re-opening.

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Whittlesey Conservative Club will not be reopening on Saturday but have instead planned a “likely special get-together” in August.

The management committee felt it was “too soon to open” and apologised to any disappointed regulars.

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Less hesitant to re-open is the GER Club in March who took a light hearted approach to get over a serious message ahead of Saturday.

“Please remember that not a single member of bar staff is suddenly an expert in disease control, politics or even the policies of the GER” says the club.

“So, when you show up to finally go out on the lash after three months of lockdown, it’s not our wonderful bar staff’s decision to tell you no, but they have to anyway,” it reads.

“When 10 of you try to sit together because you’ve not seen your grandkids and friends for three months, it’s not the staff’s fault group sizes are limited, so don’t demand to see the management and tell them they’re wrong.”

Independent businesses in March who opened on June 15 are getting used to new ways of shopping with social distancing in place.

Ellen from Paper-Chain in March said: “We have a maximum of three customers in the store at any one time and our customers are adhering to the markings we have put in place.

Greetings manager Nigel said: “It’s not been easy coming back to work.

“As most people visit March for the cafes, restaurants, hairdressers and nail salons, the town itself hasn’t had as many visitors as usual.

He added: “We have all the social distancing guidelines in place, but it has been a struggle to get some customers to adhere to them.”

+ If you’re a customer at a pub or landlord please send us photos of your first day back. Email john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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