Why we need to stop criticising people for shopping and eating out as we come out of lockdown - Catherine Scott

So we have started to emerge into the light. As we start on the second stage of Boris Johnson’s ‘road map’ out of lockdown, things are starting to feel like we may actually be able to get back to some sort of normality.

Byrons Burgers in Leeds as non essential shops and services re-open following easing of Corona Virus lockdown measures. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Hairdressers are once again open, although the first appointment I could get with my hairdressers wasn’t until the end of the month so my ’80s mullet will have to last a little longer.

Gyms and zoos are reopened and pubs and restaurants can serve food and drink outside to group of six.

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We are booked to have a meal at our local pub on Friday. Like many hostelries, they have spent time and money adapting their outside area to accommodate as many people as possible.

They have erected a marquee in the pub garden which, I am hoping, will have heaters.

My eldest is looking forward to getting back to working there – even if it is all outside. The owners are giving them branded fleeces so they don’t get too chilly dodging the rain – well as, at the moment, snow – as they go from the kitchen to the marquee.

But for my youngest it was the reopening of non-essential retail that she has been looking forward to the most.

And she wasted no time catching the train straight after school on Monday to join the queue at Primark.

I have to say of all the things I have missed during lockdown Primark hasn’t been one of them. But when you are 15, with limited resources, it is one of the things she has been looking forward to – along with being able to have friends in the garden.

Unlike most fashion retailers who have made the most of people still being able to shop online, Primark’s business plan does not allow for that.

It means you can look at what they may have on offer but not order it – torture for a fashion-conscious teenager.

Anyway, having seen the queues at branches of Primark across the country, I feared she may have along wait at the Harrogate store. Some people have been very disparaging of these queues, although from what I could see people were socially distanced, many wearing masks and behaving responsibly.

While standing in queue for Primark wouldn’t be the first thing I wanted to do when emerging from lockdown, we have to get our economy moving again.

I have to admit seeing the crowds in Soho enjoying their first drink for a while did make me feel a little uneasy, but we have got to get used to it. There will be a period of adapting to the new normal, but so long as we do it responsibly then we have to support local businesses as much as we can.