Harrogate MP's warning to public over 'Super Saturday'
Harrogate and Knaresborough’s MP is calling on the public to play their part in 'Super Saturday' by “following the rules”.as the town’s hospitality sector reopens.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have told Britain to “get out and shop” but there remains a sense of caution over the return of going out to eat and drink again after nearly four months when life has been largely lived indoors.
It’s a caution shared by Andrew Jones MP who says the relaxing of lockdown will bring a fresh set of challenges for businesses and customers.
Mr Jones said: “With pubs, cafes and restaurants opening there are new challenges. I think though that our hospitality sector has thought carefully about reopening and how best they can do it.
“The public are going to see different ways of doing things, different spacing, different booking procedures and so on.
“We are still saving lives by following lockdown instructions. Now we must follow those instructions and save livelihoods, too.
“I encourage people to start the journey to a revived local economy by respectfully following the rules and getting back into our town centres while they do that.”
Mr Jones said he had always been convinced that careful planning would steer the local economy away from the rocks.
So far, he believes people in his constituency have been doing a good job.
Mr Jones said: “Weeks ago I said in the local press that the areas which plan for coming out of lockdown are likely to be the areas which are the most successful.
“So far, Harrogate, Knaresborough and Boroughbridge businesses have risen to the challenges set by coronavirus and the public have responded with understanding and patience. “
“From what I have seen businesses in our area have been planning quietly, quickly and efficiently for life as lockdown eases so that they can accommodate customers safely.
“Supermarkets and DIY stores are already used to working with social distancing. Non-essential retail has adapted quickly and many of our shops are operating brilliant systems for customers.”
Mr Jones said there were now exciting opportunities for his constituency to bounce back but issued a warning about people’s behaviour.
He said: “We should not risk a second lockdown like Leicester. Were that to happen many businesses that are hanging on now would not survive. The public have a critical role here in ensuring that livelihoods are saved.”
Speaking for the opposition, Judith Rogerson, Harrogate & Knaresborough Lib Dems’ parliamentary spokesperson also welcomed the arrival of ‘Super Saturday’ but criticised the Government for what she said was its mixed messages.
She said: “The past four months have been an incredibly difficult time for us all so it’s good news that life can finally start to return to something normal.
“We’ve all missed being able to meet our friends and family in the wonderful cafes, pubs and restaurants that are such an important part of the economy in Harrogate district. But this mustn’t be done too quickly. I welcome the changes so long as those changes are backed by the science.
“It’s frustrating that the messaging from the Government over the last few weeks has been confusing and that has made things difficult for businesses preparing to re-open.
“It’s really important that we have clear guidance from the Government and support from the council.”
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