15 pictures to celebrate Dacorum businesses reopening on May 17
England entered step three two of the roadmap out of lockdown yesterday (May 17)
Businesses across Dacorum were excited to reopen their doors to customers yesterday (May 17) as lockdown restrictions continued to ease across the country.
From May 17, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants were allowed to serve customers indoors, indoor entertainment - including children's play areas - reopened and indoor exercise classes resumed.
Berkhamsted Leisure Centre and Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre run by Everyone Active in partnership with Dacorum Borough Council, reopened on Monday 12 April after three months of closure due to the third lockdown.
And now group exercise has been given the green light to resume from Monday, May 17, in the penultimate stage of the Government’s four-step roadmap.
Steve Cox, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “We are delighted to have been able to safely resume group exercise classes in our centres today (Monday).
“We held a range of classes and it was so great to see the community taking part and enjoying themselves in a Covid secure environment.
"With social contact being so limited over the past year, I think our members really enjoyed seeing friendly faces and being able to exercise and mix safely in our classes.
“For those who are looking to take part in our classes and are yet to sign up, please speak to a member of our team who will answer any questions you may have.”
Cafe's and restaurants in The Marlowes Shopping Centre welcomed back customers for indoor dining.
All stores in The Marlowes have now reopened and as of Monday, restaurants and cafes are now able to serve food and drinks inside, according to Government social distancing guidelines.
The shopping centre has now fully reopened in a safe and controlled manner, and continues to implement measures to ensure it provides a safe environment and adhere to government guidelines.
Access to the centre will be closely monitored using footfall technology, with visitor capacity carefully controlled to maintain social distancing to protect visitors, occupiers and staff.
Pizza Express, Starbucks and Sprinkles Gelato in Riverside have all reopened for indoor dining.
Shoppers are reminded to wear a face covering when visiting, unless they are exempt, and maintain social distancing throughout the centre.
Indoor children's play area
Helen Whittington, who owns DJ's Play Park in Jarman Park with her husband Mark, was excited to welcome back regular customers and was looking forward to welcoming new families.
She said: "It feels amazing to be open again, and we are fully booked at all three sites today (Monday).
"We do have spaces at all the sites for the rest of the week, but it's just great to be back and seeing everyone again.
"There are restricted numbers, socially distanced tables and markers and screens, the enhanced cleaning routines - all of which has made 'doing business' more challenging.
The couple also run DJ’s Play Zone in Berkhamsted and DJ's Play Jungle in St Albans.
Emma Hilder visited the soft play centre this morning (Monday), she said: "Well done to DJ’s Play for a fab first morning session!
"Super clean and well organised. Lots of smiles and happy little faces.
"Great to see the kids enjoying themselves and of course to see the wonder DJ’s Monkey mascot, make a special guest appearance!”