Northumberland cafés cast an envious eye north of the border as Scottish hospitality reopens indoors
Having reaped the rewards of outdoor reopening over the past few weeks, hospitality businesses in north Northumberland are now looking enviously over the border.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants were allowed to reopen in Scotland on Monday and they have the added benefit of being able to welcome customers indoors.
With a downturn in the weather in recent days, there is frustration among English hospitality businesses that they will have to wait until at least May 17 to mirror that.
Lizzie Middlemiss, who owns Deyn’s Deli, said: “It was fantastic when the weather was lovely but now everyone just wants to be inside. No-one is going to sit outside in the rain so the advantage that we had for a couple of weeks is now Scotland’s.
"We should have the same rules as Scotland. Unfortunately it seems Nicola Sturgeon is determined to do the opposite of whatever Boris Johnson says.
"The rules are tying our hands behind our backs. One one hand the government says we can reopen but how can you trade properly when there are these restrictions? It’s ridiculous.”
Down the coast, The Barn at Beal cafe and restaurant overlooking Holy Island has enjoyed really good trade since reopening
But Catherine Findlay, manager, admitted: “Being so close to the border and with the weather changing we’re worried that we might lose out on trade because of the different rules for hospitality. I think they should have the same rules for both rather than us having to wait until May 17 to reopen indoors.”
Travel restrictions have also been eased cross-border trips for non-essential reasons.