Coronavirus in Scotland: Scots prepare to travel to England as border reopens
With the travel restrictions lifting in Scotland on Monday, hospitality venues not just across the country, but in the North of England, are preparing for holiday makers desperate to flea the city and embrace new surroundings.
The aptly named The Curfew in Berwick Upon Tweet has been fully booked since hospitality in England reopened on April 12.
Co-owner David Cook said: “We’ve seen a lot more Scots looking to come to Berwick now.
"People from Edinburgh and the Lothians, a few from Glasgow calling.
"Over the last five or six days, we’ve had lots of calls from people with Scottish accents booking tables.”
The Curfew has implemented coronavirus guidelines for its beer garden, with social distancing and track and trace in line with UK Government advice.
It is one of many pubs sitting close to the border on either side that is preparing for the restrictions to lift on Monday.
Robert Lees, owner of the Newcastle Arms in Coldstream is happy that travel is opening up again, as bookings from holiday makers from both sides of the borders have been filling their books for the next few months.
However, restrictions reservations are still causing some problems.
"I can see both sides” he commented, “I do understand the reasons for not allowing alcohol inside.
"But we’re not the same as the city, it would be good for small town businesses to get a slightly relaxed approach, but I guess that can’t be done.
"I’m not a politician and I’m glad about that!”
He added that the last lockdown presented more challenges, saying: “Last lockdown we had people travelling up from areas in England that had loads and loads of cases, which was totally wrong.
"People thinking they could break the rules. We haven’t had that this time.”
Scotland’s Chief Medical officer Dr Gregor Smith has said that he is 'encouraged' there will not be another lockdown, which is music to the ears of many hospitality owners.
Iain Broughton, who runs the Gretna Inn said that he couldn’t sustain another lockdown: “We’d have to close if it happened again, no more pub.
"This time took us completely by surprise. We were in level one here, I was fully booked for Christmas, then the announcement was made and we went from a full house to six bookings.
“All we were doing for a few days was taking cancellations.
"It took every penny I had put away to get us through, so I’ve been left with nothing.
"There’s the Government grants of course, but they don't cover the bills.”
The Gretna Inn welcomes people from Glasgow to Cumbria, relying not just on the shopping centre across the road providing business, but the wedding trade of those looking to get married in the iconic location.
Fortunately, this business looks like its more than back in action for the local venues and hotels.
"The wedding bookings have gone through the roof,” Iain continued.
"They started coming in a few weeks ago, a lot more than usual. Between mid May, maybe even a little earlier, straight through to September, I’m pretty much fully booked.”
The Scottish Government have lifted travel restrictions from Monday, April 26 and hospitality, shops, beauty salons and gyms will be allowed to reopen.
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