Coronavirus restrictions have eased further today in line with the Governments four step plan to see England out of its third national lockdown.
The move sees the reopening of all non-essential retail, personal care, gyms and outdoor hospitality for the first time since January 5th.
For many, the reopening of hairdressers and barbers has come as a huge relief following 14 weeks without a haircut.
Jamal Ahmed is one of them, he visited Bosley’s Barbers in Plungington to tame over 100 days of hair growth.
“The atmosphere was very relaxed, but people were eager to get in and get their haircut” he said
Jamal said he felt ‘a lot more happier’ about himself from the cut.
The relaxed environment was helped by the COVID secure procedures put in place, a legal obligation for all businesses to mitigate the risk of infection.
“Waiting was outside and you had to wear a mask, the staff wore masks, and everything was sterilised in between customers.” Jamal explained
The Chancellor announced grants to help support self-employed workers and small businesses through the first lockdown last March and has since been extended following the second and third lockdowns in November and January.
Despite Government efforts, many non-essential businesses have seen substantial losses in income over the course of the pandemic.
Some businesses have resorted to price hikes in an attempt to claw back lost profit, but Jamal felt that prices at the barber’s shop had remained stagnant.
“I see that continuing because there will be places that have increased prices and there’s places that have kept it the same and those will be the places that will probably end up having more people going to” he said.
Step three of the roadmap out of lockdown isn’t expected to be implemented for another 5 weeks, allowing the Government to assess to impact of today’s opening on COVID case rates and deaths.