Pubs bars, cafes, non-essential shops, outdoor attractions and salons are among those allowed to reopen from April 12, and we were out capturing the day as customers returned.
LIVE: South Tyneside buzzing on reopening day
Last updated: Monday, 12 April, 2021, 16:21
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes are welcoming back customers for outdoor hospitality
- Non-essential shops have also reopened
- The fair at South Shields seafront is open for business
- Hairdressers and barbers are booked solid as people shed their lockdown hair styles
Knitting shop owners thrilled to be back
Knit n Purl in the Market Place was among indenepdent shops in South Shields town centre reopening today, with owners Jacqueline Brown and Susan Harris thrilled to be back
Jacqueline said: “I'm really pleased to be back open again. Lockdown has been really tough this time around, everybody has really struggled. But we have run click and collect throughout being closed but it definitely has been a tough time. I'm hoping this (lock down) will be the last.
“We have been busy since we opened this morning which is great. The same restrictions are in place as before. We want people to feel comfortable in the shop. It's great to be open.”
Serena Martinez, manager of New Look in King Street, said more than 200 people have been through the doors since they opened at 9am this morning.
"It's been amazing today. Its excellent for the town,” she said.
Customer Kirsty Martin was queuing outside of New Look.
"It's just exciting to go round the shops again and to do something normal. I'm gong to the hairdressers after this and then to Newcastle. I'm making the most,” she said.
The Barber Shop owner Sharon Pittuck said the shop open since 8.30 already had 16 people in.
“It's lovely to be back,” she said. “This lockdown has been the hardest. When you are passionate about your work its lovely. I have missed the customers we're like a barber shop family.”
Northern Threads owner Phil Goodfellow said business has been brisk this morning with some big sales:
“This morning business has been brisk we have had our regulars in and thee has been a nice atmosphere. We have had 30 customers in already and there has been some big sales.”
He said it was welcome news after a tough few months.
“This lockdown has been the hardest one yet,” he said. “The first time suppliers were more accommodating but this has been survival of the fittest.”
Watch batteries a big seller after lockdown
Allan Harrison of Harrison’s Jewellers said: “it has been busy. Many people have come in for batteries because their watches have stopped. It is nice to be back open as lockdown has been a nightmare.
“Our first customer has been ringing us all week and came in and bought a load of silver dollar coins for £500.”
Pavement cafe proves a hit, despite chilly weather
Hospitality businesses have worked hard to get outdoor seating ready for customers, with some getting licences for pavement cafes.
Scott Carlucci, owner of the Clifton, is among them, and he was delighted to be open.
He said: “We've had a few people in this morning and a few of our regulars. We're pleased with the outdoor area. It was chilly this morning but it's lovely to see the sun come out.”
Ocean Beach in full swing on reopening day
It’s a big day at the seafront as Ocean Beach Pleasure Park reopens after months closed under lockdown.
Rides are open with safety measures in place, and a new ticketing system.
Shedding the lockdown hair dos
Hair appointments are highly prized as barbers and salons deal with a backlog of customers desperate to get their hair back in some semblance of style after months of lockdown.
Here’s Inese Hunder in action at Baltic Barbers in Dean Road.