Hotel and restaurant owner 'over the moon' at possible reopening date

Hannah Springham and Andrew Jones at the Dial House, Reepham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Hannah Springham and Andrew Jones at the Dial House, Reepham. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A restaurateur and hotelier says she is "over the moon" after the prime minister said hospitality businesses may be able to begin to reopen their doors from April.

On Monday, Boris Johnson said - providing four relevant tests are met - hospitality businesses will be able to serve customers outdoors from April 12.

They may then be able to serve customers indoors from May 17. From June 21, nightclubs may be able to reopen and there could be no legal limit on socialising.

Hannah Springham, who runs Farmyard in Norwich and the Dial House in Reepham, said she was "over the moon" to have a date to aim for.

"I'm not going to count my chickens on June and July," she said. "We have been here before a million times. The difficult thing we are trying to fathom is if they say in April 'you need to open', and we get our team in and then it rains, we are still paying for our team.

"Unless you are a really big venue with a big undercover outdoor space it will be difficult. It would be best if they said 'we will support you whether you decide to [open in April] or not'.

"May feels like a long time away but at least we have something to aim for.

"We did 200 covers for Valentine's Day and we are doing really well for Mother's Day. If we have to do Easter at home we know what that looks like now. 

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"The fact that people can have relatives around and eat it outside is nice.

"May is what we were expecting. It does feel like a long time away, but it feels really exciting. 

"I feel absolutely over the moon. We are really excited to think we have a date to work towards. It's a massive sense of relief. It feels like we are turning a corner."

She said the thought of everyone meeting up and reuniting gave her goosebumps.

Last year, at different stages of the coronavirus restrictions, restaurants and pubs were forced to have a 10pm curfew and also to introduce a substantial rule meal - where customers had to eat a substantial meal to order a drink.

Both of those have now been scrapped.

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