Relaxing of coronavirus restrictions hailed as ‘a real plus’ for Worthing

Relaxed covid restrictions proposed for ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19, have been welcomed by Worthing town centre manager, Sharon Clarke.

On Monday (July 5), Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out government plans to lift the remaining restrictions as part of the roadmap out of lockdown.

The plans, which are set to be confirmed on July 12, include nightclubs being able to reopen, no limits on the number of people indoors and outdoors, removal of the one-metre-plus rule and masks.

Hospitality businesses will also no longer be required to provide table service only, there will be no capacity caps, and no limits on numbers at weddings and funerals.

Sharon Clarke, Worthing town centre manager and director of Worthing Town Centre Initiative. Picture: Steve Robards

Mrs Clarke. who is also director of Worthing Town Centre Initiative (TCI), a collection of traders, told the Herald: “I think it’s good for the businesses that haven’t been able to open yet.

“People are feeling more excited about going out in the evening and going to a nightclub again, so this is all a real plus.”

However, she raised concern over small businesses in the town having to close due to staff having to self-isolate – such as Finch Bar & Eatery this week – read more about this on page six.

“It is great that businesses will be able to have more people in, but if staff have to self-isolate, they won’t have the staff to meet the demands of customers, so they have no choice but to close, which has a massive impact on their income,” said Mrs Clarke.

“Businesses really want to be able to keep going and they need a good summer.

“It is frustrating for them – having to close and lose days’ money, which they need to help them get through the difficult 18 months they have had.”

She praised the vaccine roll-out and said the announcement by Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday (July 6), that double-jabbed people will no longer need to self-isolate from August 16, will help the town’s businesses and schools.