Written by Gauri Kashyap
LLM Intellectual Property Law
Over the last few months, the COVID-19 restrictions in the UK are being reduced, with some rules in place involving social distancing and other safety measures. In an attempt to kick-start the economy and ensure that things return to normal, most places are being reopened, with new safety systems put in place. This blog discusses how life is in Bournemouth now, under this new system.
All the common modes of transportation are running again, with buses, trains and cabs requiring you to wear masks and use contactless payments at all times. Seating capacity of buses are limited, so as to ensure that we’re socially distanced. Extensive cleaning regimes have been incorporated, so that all points of contact are sanitised and made safe for our use!
When the pubs in Bournemouth opened in early July, I had mixed feeling about it. On one hand, I was dying to head out, enjoy a nice evening with my friends, and have a semblance of normality in my social life. However, there was also the anxiety of being out again in crowded places that stopped me from trying it out straight away.
Around August, after hearing good things about the measures taken, I stepped in again for a nice evening out. Since then the comfort that has developed. Pubs are ensuring reducing seating so as to create space between tables as per social distancing guidelines. There are lines on the floor that ensure one-way passage, so that there is no chance of bumping into people. Many pubs also have restrictions on how many people can sit per table.
In a move to encourage people to go out and help the economy, the UK Government had the Eat out Help out initiative throughout September. This meant that on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, restaurants that had signed on to the initiative would give 50% off on all food and non-alcoholic beverages. My friends and I enjoyed many delicious and unbelievably cheap meals under this scheme. It is now over, but the success of the scheme has made some restaurants take it up for the next month. Pre-booking required in most places, as most restaurants have a low capacity because of the guidelines, and they want to avoid crowds waiting for a table.
This blog would be incomplete without a mention of the beaches! To enjoy the beach, it is important to show caution. So my friends and I make sure that we go to the beach when it is least crowded. This is either early in the morning or after around 5 in the evening. To enjoy nice summer days, we found non-crowded parts of the beach and had lovely little barbecues and small, safe camp fires with a few friends who were part of our social bubble. The beach has the sign that says “think twice, if busy, head home”.
All stores now follow one-way rules, allow only a certain number of people at a time, and have made it mandatory to wear masks. While things are moving and there’s life around, it’s important to be safe. While a lot of that is ensured by the system around us, personal caution is of utmost importance. With that, there’s no telling how much fun things can be. At the end of the day, it’s lovely seeing our beloved Bournemouth come back to life, in its own vigilant way.