Written by on 13/06/2021

With the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions regarding hospitality, Torbay has finally seen a long-awaited boom in the retail sector as non-essential businesses and indoor venues began trading again. Up until the 17th May, which saw the reopening of many businesses which were on the verge of closing permanently and would have caused massive economic disaster for the Bay, business is slowly but surely returning to some degree of normality.

Boris Johnson’s procrastination on ‘Stage 4’ of the roadmap out of lockdown is however worrying the remainder of businesses that still remain closed. Torbay being a Holiday Resort has a wide range of clubs and other entertainment establishments that are still waiting for the green light to resume trading and make an attempt to salvage their businesses. For many the time has already past the point of no return, meaning that many businesses will close permanently and with this will obviously follow a spike in unemployment within the Bay. 

Devon MP’s have voiced their concerns regarding this and have been leaning on the government to go ahead with the ‘stage 4’ on the 21st June to avoid further damage to our local economy. With ever growing concern regarding the ‘Delta Variant’ of the Coronavirus this is looking doubtful and there has been speculation of pushing the date back even further.

Professor Paul Hunter, an advisor to the World Health Organisation, a leading Epidemiologist and specialist in infectious diseases, pandemics, epidemics and endemics said in an interview that he didn’t think that this was a realistic date due to the ‘Delta Variant’ and although couldn’t see the country going back into another full lockdown such as that of last March due to the large number of the population in the UK that had now been vaccinated, said that further restrictions were quite possible with new strains emerging on a regular basis. He also commented that ‘Herd Immunity’ was something that wasn’t in his opinion going to be possible with this type of virus.  He continued ‘I expect that my grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be at risk of covid, although not as severe as currently, Covid is here to stay for many generations’.

‘Stage 4’ would see the reopening of remaining settings such as nightclubs and adult entertainment venues, and the lifting of restrictions on social contact and large events that continue to apply in ‘Stage 3’. This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and the reviews of social distancing measures and COVID-status certification, with the Government looking to relax COVID-Secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews.

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