W2W - back to work we must go

UNLOCKING the country was always going to be the biggest challenge.

But we must, before lives, livelihoods and children’s education are devastated further.

The easing of restrictions is welcome, but many businesses such as gyms and swimming pools still have to remain closed.

Why, they ask?

Surely, it is time to stop micro-managing the country and to allow those in positions of responsibility to use their common sense, to ensure the viability of their business and the safety of their customers.

There is so much at stake, not least millions of jobs, some of which have already been lost.

On Tuesday, I met retailers in Weymouth to see how they were faring.

I was accompanied by Craig Oakes, President of the Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce, and Claudia Moore, Chief Operations Officer of Weymouth Bid.

The responses I received were mixed, although all were grateful for the furlough scheme.

Working more and more on-line is clearly going to add to the woes of the traditional high street and of course employment.

In my own view, I think we must look at new ways to attract people into our towns.

Weymouth is blessed with a stunning harbour, for example, the perfect magnet for resident, visitor and tourist.

Talking to those I met, there is no doubt that, with some imagination, better use could be made of this precious asset.

Shops have now been open for 11 days, but the acid test will the re-opening of pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels and guest houses on 4 July.

The reduction of the social-distancing rule from two to one metre will help.

Back to work and to school we must go.