Local business owners had mixed emotions after learning Greater Lincolnshire will enter tier 3 restrictions once the national lockdown ends on December 2.
Barbers and beauty salons can now reopen again from that date. However, pubs and restaurants are still only allowed to stay open for takeaway services.
All shops are allowed to be open too, but travelling outside of Lincolnshire is not advised, unless for work, care or education. Hotels cannot fully reopen either.
It will be slightly different to the restrictions from before the second lockdown and The Lincolnite spoke to some local business owners to get their reaction to the government’s latest guidance.
Hairdressers and beauty salons
Matt Smith, who is the co-owner at The Junxion hair salon and Smiths Tea Room, said: “We are delighted that we can reopen again ready for the festive spirit that December brings.
“It is a very important month for the hair industry, as it is with many other businesses so we are just thankful we can open. We will be following all the guidelines as before so it will be a safe environment for all.
“I am also very upset that we cannot open Smiths Tea Room for December, as this month is also normally very busy with Christmas Afternoon Teas – but of course I understand why we cannot.
“It will make it very hard though for all hospitality venues so please remember to support your smaller local businesses if you can.”
Emma Lacey owns Lacey’s Beauty Salon and Training Academy on Millstream Square in Sleaford.
She said: “After having an empty beauty salon over the last few months, I am overjoyed we are allowed to open and see our clients before Christmas.
“I have recently launched our training academy and, whilst I was allowed to teach throughout lockdown, I wasn’t able to perform any treatments on clients.
“Whilst I am celebrating our opening, I am also thinking of all the friends I have in the hospitality sector who are still not able to open their business as usual.”
Gyms & leisure
Lee Kilby, co-owner of Energie Lincoln City in the Cornhill, said: “We are a family owned business, so we’re certainly relieved to be reopening next week and look forward to welcoming our members back to the club.
“Being able to exercise and stay active is incredibly important for your health and wellbeing, especially during the winter months when outdoor options are limited.
“But we also feel for those who cannot open and hope the people of Lincoln support local businesses across the board, rather than the obvious multi-nationals.”
Bars and restaurants
Jez Nash, who owns the Strait & Narrow and The Rogue Saint, said: “It’s what we were expecting, cases are so high in so many parts of Lincolnshire our industry felt tier 3 was always inevitable. I don’t think any of the city’s key operators expected to be open.
“What this means for wet-led pubs and bars like ours is that we’re unlikely to be allowed to open until well into the next year. Obviously this is disappointing from a business point of view.
“What would be more disappointing is if all the lockdowns and tier restrictions that have been put in place are squandered and we fail to make any gains into preventing the spread of the virus — or even worse that they aren’t the correct measures to be taken in the first place.
“Fortunately we are now seasoned delivery veterans with our StraitCrates.co.uk offshoot of the business, and while we can’t sling drinks over the bar, we’ll be delivering to our customers directly. No one is going to miss out on good drinks on our watch.”
Ronnie Byrne, Duty Manager at the Nosey Parker, said: “Obviously the news is disappointing, but it’s our team who will be hit the hardest this time around.
“Christmas is the busiest time of the year for the industry, and it’s also where our team will get the most hours and earn the most cash.
“A lot of people seem to think bartenders, chefs, and wait staff are all on great money, but a lot of us are on minimum wage, and Christmas is normally a time for us to boost our personal incomes.
“So many great people in the industry have struggled financially through the restrictions since March, so this Christmas won’t be a very merry one.”
David Nejrup, Operations Manager at Home, Craft and Curiosity Shop said: “The lead up to Christmas is such an essential time for our sector. The news today is just another blow to the hospitality industry and the whole of the evening economy.
“Although our short term future looks bleak. With the exciting news of the imminent rollout of a vaccine, coupled with the PM’s comments that the need for restrictions will fall away by the spring, we remain optimistic about our future.”
Garry and Tracey Goddard own vegan restaurant Cafe Shanti, which is currently open from 12pm to between 8pm-10pm Wednesday to Saturday.
The couple will be continuing their delivery and takeaway service, and people can order either directly from the restaurant or via Uber Eats.
Garry said: “We expected it anyway and from a business point of view it won’t make a big difference to what we’ve already been doing with takeaway and delivery, it has become the norm for us.
“We preferred the more intimacy of it being a small restaurant, but are resigned to the fact that this is how it will be if we want to survive as a business. Surviving at the moment is literally what we are doing, with delivery and takeaway.
Garry, who is also a season ticket holder at Lincoln City, added that he is gutted that the news means he can’t return to the stadium to watch his beloved Imps.
Local council leaders said they are “disappointed” and “frankly devastated” by the news, while Katrina Pierce, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Lincolnshire, believes the “county’s hospitality businesses will really feel the sharp sting of this decision at a point in the year when they would ordinarily be at their busiest”.