On Monday 26th April, hundreds of Borders businesses were able to reopen as part of the easing of lockdown.
All shops are now able to welcome customers, and cafes, pubs and restaurants can provide full outdoor service, with indoors without alcohol and shutting at 8pm.
Similarly, close contact services like beauticians can reopen.
Gyms, swimming pools and public buildings can welcome back visitors.
However, nightclubs, bingo halls, cinemas, and soft play centres remain closed until at least level 2, with some not due to open until well after that.
Travel restrictions have been eased further allowing greater travel across the UK.
Local politicians have welcomed the changes but warned of the difficulties still facing most businesses.
John Lamont MP said:
“It will be great to see our high streets, beer gardens and gyms spring back into life this week. The world leading vaccine programme in the UK has been instrumental in getting us back to this place.
“People have been understandably struggling with their mental health this past year, and for many getting back to the gym, socialising with friends, or visiting family across the UK will help improve things.
“However, it is important that we recognise the huge challenges facing businesses who cannot reopen profitably. Pubs without outdoor spaces will continue to face difficulties the next few weeks. Similarly, gyms cannot operate classes and beauticians and make-up artists are restricted in what they can do.
“I hope Borderers feel able to support their local businesses over the next few weeks in this big step in the return to normality.”
Rachael Hamilton, said:
“The reopening of local shops, restaurants, cafes and beer gardens across the Borders today is a positive and much-needed step forward.
“With the success of the UK’s vaccination programme and the low incidence of the virus in the Borders, we need to see more parts of the economy being allowed to open up for business.
“Local businesses have been left in the dark over the past year, and the SNP have failed to provide them with clarity when they have needed it.
“Not all businesses can operate at pre-Covid levels due to the ongoing restrictions and distancing, so there must be additional support to help them at this time.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, there needs to be greater financial support for local businesses and our town centres; not another divisive independence referendum which would jeopardise our recovery”