‘Going back to work to see customers is like catching up with old friends' - Wakefield hairdressers can't wait to welcome you back next week
Hairdressers and other businesses are set to reopen on Monday.
The government confirmed the decision earlier this week and final preparations are now being made.
Speaking at the Downing Street Covid press conference, Boris Johnson also said that he is “hopeful” international travel will be able to resume on May 17, but this will depend on what happens between now and then.
Oliver Dean Hair & Beauty on Wood Street is one of the salons getting ready to return.
Oliver said: “My staff and I are desperate to get back to work.
“One of the main reasons hairdressers do their job is socialising with customers.
“They’re like family in a way, some are 20 year relationships so you get to know their families, wives, kids, and it’s not like we’ve been able to go see them throughout lockdown.
“Going back to work is like catching up with old friends in a pub.”
After closing down on previous occasions Oliver and his staff are well versed in getting things up and running again.
He said: “Getting things back in place from lockdowns has been relatively easy, but we have done some renovation in every lockdown.
“In terms of PPE staff get brought in for half a day to see about track and trace etc.
“But there’s not a great deal of change this time.”
And he said the safety measures in place at many businesses were second to none.
He added: “With hairdressers and restaurants, I don’t feel we could do anymore to be safer. I agree with lockdowns but I don’t think it’s always necessary to shut us down. It’s a hard one.”
He said that furlough had been a “godsend” throughout the previous year and the situation for businesses would have been very different without it.
Kraft Barbers, also on Wood Street, is also planning to reopen on Monday.
Wakefield Council has confirmed the reopening of its services, following the prime minister’s announcement of the second phase of the roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions.
And plans are in place to bring all Wakefield Council services back into action.
From Monday all libraries and all leisure facilities will reopen.
Council markets will open to all traders, Pontefract Castle grounds and toilets will remain open, the shop will re-open and the cafe will be serving takeaway food and drink only, while
Sandal Castle grounds will remain open, but the cafe will be closed.
Country parks remain open, including toilet facilities. The cafe at Pugneys Country Park will be serving takeaway food and drink only.
Anna Hartley, Wakefield’s director of public health, said: “This is an extremely critical time as businesses start to re-open and we start to welcome people back to our city and town centres once again.
“We are doing everything we can to support local businesses to not only reopen safely but to recover from what has been a very challenging time and we will continue to offer support for as long as is needed.
“We want people and businesses to be confident to return to our high streets and enjoy our wonderful, vibrant local economy and it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the social distancing guidance and to be patient and considerate of others to keep ourselves, and everyone else, safe.”
Full details of changes to services can be found on the council’s website at www.wakefield.gov.uk/coronavirus.