Shops, gyms, hairdressers and other businesses in Southport and across the UK will be able to reopen after the current Covid lockdown ends on December 2.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson this afternoon told Parliament about his ‘Covid Winter Plan’, under which tougher new Tier systems will replace the current national measures.
He said: “The pandemic cavalry is now in sight and we know that next year we will succeed and make the idea of a Covid lockdown redundant.”
He warned of a challenging Winter ahead, but heralded the imminent arrival of three possible vaccines as well as mass testing programmes as changing life for people by Spring next year.
There was mixed news for hospitality businesses which will see closing times extended from the current 10pm to 11pm, with a last order at 10pm.
However pubs and restaurants will not be able to open in areas under the highest new Tier 3 restrictions, while those in Tier 2 areas will only be able to sell alcohol when served with ‘substantial meals’.
Areas will be told which Tier they will be in after the current national lockdown has ended this Thursday.
Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said: “It is good news that some of our businesses such as shops and gyms will be able to reopen and will be able to start making some money in the run-up to Christmas.
“I would urge everyone to do all they can to support our local businesses this year, which have all suffered during this pandemic.
“Please support our local businesses, and keep spend within our local economy.
“Southport BID has this year launched the new Southport Gift Card, which is now accepted at over 70 local firms, and is one of the ways people can shop locally.
“We will wait to hear which Tier we will be in and which restrictions Southport will be under.”
Business owners in Southport are calling for more police support when the national lockdown ends.
Rachel Fitzgerald said: “We are trying to work with the police to see more officers on the ground when doors are allowed to reopen.
“Our concern when more people are allowed out again is for the safety of our retailers and the safety of shoppers.”
Stadiums will be allowed to re-open from December 2 once the second Coronavirus lockdown is eased.
4,000 spectators – or 50 per cent of a stadium’s capacity for outdoor events, depending on which is lower – are set to be allowed in Tier 1 areas as well as 2,000 spectators or 50 per cent capacity for indoor events also due to be allowed.
Areas in Tier 2 will also be allowed to welcome 2,000 spectators or 50 per cent of their stadium capacity outdoors, again depending on whichever figure is lower, and 1,000 fans or 50 per cent of capacity indoors.