BUSINESSES have once again reopened their doors to customers as further lockdown restrictions were lifted on Monday.

The changes have been welcomed by people working in and around Clacton who are looking forward to getting back to business.

Shops, gyms, hairdressers and outdoor attractions were all allowed to open on Monday on what was dubbed the Glorious Twelfth.

Salons turned the signs on their doors round and people could get their long-awaited haircuts as the second phase of the Government’s roadmap began.

Stephen Mayzes, who runs Thrive Outdoor, in Kirby, and Amazing Activities in Clacton, said the feeling he had when he woke up on Monday morning was the best he had felt in a very long time.

Gazette: Stephen MayzesStephen Mayzes

He said: “For me it’s all about those children who haven’t been able to clear their headspace. Physical activity is the perfect opportunity to clear heads and improve wellbeing.

“At the end of their session they’ll be tired, out of breath and hopefully have a big smile on their face.

“On Monday I woke up and felt so good about the direction we are travelling in at the moment and this is an important time.

“Businesses need to be given as much time as possible to open back up and be given a platform to build.

“It’s been a long year for everybody. Throughout the time I’ve explored new opportunities and opened new businesses, using the time constructively to better myself and my company.

“I saw this as the best opportunity possible to reframe and remap the businesses to make sure if we are in this situation again then I have alternative ways to keep on going.

“From an outdoor point of view, business will thrive as people want to be outide. There’s a better sense of purpose here, it’s all about what people get from nature and fresh air.

“Covid has given people an opportunity to explore the outdoors a bit more and reconnect with nature and the wild.

For others, however, a beer in a garden and a catch up with friends has been more appealing.

Jodie Stone, who runs 14th century pub The Red Lion, in Kirby, bravely took it over in December.

Gazette: Jodie StoneJodie Stone

She said: “We were flat out in the morning preparing for reopening and were booked out for lunch and had a nice few in for dinner.

“The grass area in the garden has been prepared with 56 seats so it’s suitable for all who would like to walk in.

“There’s a whole load of new staff onboard and we are so excited about what is to come.”