Coronavirus: Guernsey reopens for business after 10 weeks

Image caption A queue of people waited outside the newly-reopened Vistas Cafe

Guernsey's restaurants, hairdressers and shops have reopened after nearly 10 weeks of being closed amid restrictions imposed because of coronavirus.

Businesses have only been allowed to reopen if they can abide by public health guidance related to their trade.

The return to a vague normalcy comes as Guernsey enters phase four of releasing lockdown. Pubs will open on Monday.

Business owners have expressed excitement about returning to work and laid out the changes they have made.

Around the island these have included the use of protective equipment, strict cleaning regimes and maintaining social distance.

Earlier this week Guernsey reported it had "no known" Covid-19 cases remaining and it has been almost a month since a recorded transmission.

Initially pubs and bars not serving meals were to remain closed even when other businesses reopened, but that continued closure now just applies to nightclubs.

However, pubs have been told they must provide table service and record everyone who has been there.

Image caption Becky Rowe is particularly looking forward to being able to show customers her new designs in person

Jewellery designer Becky Rowe, 34, said although she felt "lucky" to have been able to fulfil some orders by other means while her shop - Becky Rowe Jewellery - was closed, there had been a loss of business.

"Inevitably it's a strange way of running a shop when you can't have customers," Ms Rowe said.

"Jewellery is a tactile thing people want to try on and see."

Ms Rowe said she was looking forward to being able to "discuss face-to-face" with people and "talk them through ideas and designs".

She said her staff were implementing all measures needed, including cleaning items tried on by customers.

"It's just going to be the new normal for a while."

Image caption Vistas Cafe will only run at about half of its 200 capacity, according to the owner.

Nick Percy, the owner of Vistas Cafe, said he was "raring to go" after lockdown, having enjoyed a break that had "recharged the batteries".

Mr Percy, 58, said: "It was the first Easter I've had off for 30-odd years."

He acknowledged the business had "taken a big hit", but said he felt lucky to have been able to keep his staff by furloughing them.

The cafe would only run at about half of its 200 capacity, Mr Percy said, and would have protective plastic screening and a one way system.

Mr Percy emphasised people should not expect normal service immediately.

"People don't obviously realise that, they're going to come marching in and thinking everything is going to be quick and fast," he said.

Image caption Shane Mauger hopes a busy few weeks will allow him to get his salon back on track

Hairdresser Shane Mauger, 48, said he could not wait to see customers at his salon, New Image, after a "whirlwind" time.

Mr Mauger said during the lockdown he wondered if he was going to be able to carry on.

"It's going to be a while before we actually get anywhere to bring our accounts back up," he said.

Mr Mauger said with appointments already booked, the salon was set to be "extremely busy" for five weeks, seeing about 30 people over 11 hours on Saturday.

"I haven't actually counted, I've kind of averted my eyes from that to be honest," he joked.

Mr Mauger said big changes had been unnecessary, as he already routinely disinfected equipment.

He said his staff had supplies of protective equipment to make people comfortable, despite being told it was not required.

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