Gyms, spas, zoos, community centres, libraries and hairdressers have now opened to the public, while restaurants and pubs have welcomed customers in groups of no more than six in outside seating areas. Long queues were seen outside major shops such as JD Sports and Primark from the early hours of the morning, and footfall across such retail shops was up 101% compared to the previous week according to retail analysts Springboard.
Many venues and businesses did not survive the past year and stand empty in city centres and on high streets. More than 17,500 stores closed throughout Britain in 2020. For those that remain, the lifting of lockdown provides a much needed boost.
The general public have been reminded to stick to wearing masks, sanitising our hands and maintaining social distancing. Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised people to ‘behave responsibly’ as the vaccination push continues nationally.
While many are overjoyed to get out and about in the crowds, others are struggling with feelings of social anxiety and panic after a year mostly spent indoors. The thought of going to busy public spaces and interacting with groups of people while coronavirus still looms overhead can be overwhelming. The BBC has advice for readjusting to a post-lockdown lifestyle.
The government has advised that 17 May could be the next major date in the country’s journey out of lockdown, where additional easing will see indoor events permitted.