Freedom Day: Events to go ahead but hospitality will be affected, says BID manager
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
The 'precautionary pause' on easing lockdown will not impact planned events for Letchworth town centre, the Business Improvement District manager has said.
Chris Wilson and the team at Letchworth BID have been pulling out all of the stops to help businesses bounce back from numerous lockdowns, with a number of socially distanced events planned to drive footfall.
So far, the government's roadmap out of this year's lockdown has gone according to plan, with each milestone met to enable hospitality and non-essential shops to slowly reopen.
The final hurdle, which would end all remaining restrictions - including social distancing - was due to happen on Monday, June 21.
It was announced on Monday this week that the key date, dubbed Freedom Day, has been pushed back another four weeks to July 19 due to the growing number of COVID cases.
That said, the popular Letchworth Food and Drink Festival is still set to go ahead on June 25, 26 and 27 - with a few tweaks made to the original plans to stay in line with current guidance.
BID manager Chris Wilson told the Comet: "We don't have to cancel! We're pressing on, and the Food and Drink Festival is the only one that will be slightly affected by this delay in lifting restrictions.
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"We're making a few tweaks here and there, and then we will be good to go.
"However, the hospitality sector is going to be affected quite majorly. especially with it being summer now. With the warmer weather and everyone enjoying coming out of lockdown - social distancing limits capacity, and table service is taking up so much staffing.
"Social distancing is one of the aspects that's really affecting the industry.
"I think Chris Whitty hit the nail on the head - we have to live with the virus, it's not going anywhere. They said it would be a precautionary pause, so let's hope when July 19 comes along it all goes ahead."
The Food & Drink festival will be in the town centre from Friday, June 25 to Sunday, June 27.
More events, such as LGC Live, Artists and Makers, and Letchworth Carnival Gala are scheduled for July and August.