Giltbrook pub manager 'so happy' to see customers back indoors
For the first time in months, Eastwood and Kimberley residents have been able to hug family and friends and enjoy a pint inside their local.
The latest stage of lockdown lifting this week means people can now eat and drink inside venues, make physical contact with others and even plan a trip overseas.
A number of businesses have been able to open for the first time this year, including children's indoor play centres, museums and cinemas.
And groups of up to 30 people are now able to meet outside, with the ‘rule of six’ or two households meeting indoors, including people’s homes.
This is a welcome improvement for pubs, cafes and restaurants, many of which have been in constant battle with the weather during the past month.
Sarah Testa, manager at The Hayloft in Giltbrook, is happy to see customers inside the pub again.
She told the Advertiser: “It’s been challenging. When the weather was bad, it was a pointless exercise opening the pub. I haven’t known whether I’m coming or going.”
The manager hopes that fully reopening pubs will help get people’s social lives back on track.
“It’s great to see regulars back – they’re part of the furniture. It’s affected people not being able to get on with their normal day to day lives.
"And for me it’s nice to finally properly work again – I’ve been bored and not known what to do with myself. It drives you crazy,” she said.
Since reopening on Monday, the venue has had a steady stream of customers and Sarah predicts a mad weekend ahead.
She added: “We’ve had quite a few in so far, it’s been busier than a normal week. I’m expecting carnage at the weekend. I’m mentally preparing myself for it.”
Although the excitement of reuniting with friends and family is at the forefront for many, residents are still being advised to ‘exercise caution’ when out and about.
Broxtowe Borough Council leader and Eastwood resident Coun Milan Radulovic said: “Local people have been very responsible in their attitude to the lockdown restrictions.
“Infections rates are low but there is still a need to exercise caution to ensure a return to normal as soon as possible. Let’s all act responsibly and see off the pandemic in the hopes of a better future.”