Final easing of Covid-19 restrictions welcomed by Chamber, but 'significant challenges' remain with self isolation

A Berwick business group believes the Government has done the right thing by announcing that coronavirus restrictions are coming to an end on Monday, but it has acknowledged that there will be difficulties due to self-isolation rules still in place.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 1:08 pm
Stephen Scott, Berwick Chamber of Trade chairman.
Stephen Scott, Berwick Chamber of Trade chairman.

Despite the ongoing spread of the Delta variant, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed this week that the Government will be going ahead with step four of its roadmap.

While cases are generally rising across the country and in Northumberland, it believes that the next step can be taken because the vaccine programme has significantly reduced hospitalisations and deaths – although Mr Johnson said at a press conference that it was vital to proceed with “caution”, warning “this pandemic is not over”.

Stephen Scott, Berwick Chamber of Trade chairman, told the Advertiser: “We support the lifting of Government restrictions on July 19.

“This change will allow all of the business owners to be fully in control of any proportionate and sensible ongoing restrictions that they feel are necessary for their own business.

“These self-imposed restrictions need to take into account the local infection rate and the views and concerns of their customers.

“However, significant challenges remain for businesses, particularly for those in hospitality, until the self-isolating rules change on August 16.

“Until then, there is a high risk of businesses having to close temporarily if staff come into close contact with those with a Covid-19 infection.”