As some more lockdown restrictions are eased and businesses start to re-open their doors, East Lothian Council is launching a new campaign called ‘Stay Safe, Support Local, Love East Lothian’.
With many businesses having been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the council is highlighting that East Lothian has an abundance of creative and innovative businesses working in a variety of sectors across and within our local communities.
The Scottish Government recently moved to the second phase of its four-phase 'route map' aimed at gradually easing the lockdown while continuing to suppress the virus. Shops of all sizes were able to open from 29 June as long as they have outdoor entrances and exits. Indoor shopping centres will remain closed except for essential retailers such as supermarkets and pharmacists.
Retailers across East Lothian are now implementing plans to ensure their customers and staff are enabled to remain safe and socially distanced at 2m apart. Government advice remains to wear a face covering in enclosed areas where physical distancing is difficult, such as shops, and from Monday, 22 June, it became mandatory to wear a face covering on all public transport. Residents are reminded to please adhere to safety measures, remain patient and respect retail staff who will be asking people to shop in a different way.
The campaign aims to encourage people to purchase goods and services in East Lothian. There will also, as further restrictions are eased and it becomes safe for tourism-related businesses to re-open, be a focus on promoting visitor attractions and the county’s acclaimed hospitality.
With hotels and the tourism sector having been given an indicative re-opening date of 15 July, local accommodation providers, visitor attractions and other related businesses are putting plans in place to re-open and provide a warm, hospitable welcome to visitors when it is safe to do so.
Getting back open for business
Look out for more about our campaign in the days and weeks ahead!
Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said:
“East Lothian’s shops and local businesses have had to face particularly challenging circumstances over the last few months, but, as our high streets start to open up again, they are keen to welcome existing and new customers
“I’m delighted to support the launch of East Lothian Council’s new campaign - Stay Safe, Support Local, Love East Lothian. It’s about sending out a message that East Lothian is getting back open for business – whatever products or services you’re looking for, you’re very likely to find them here in East Lothian.
“East Lothian is well loved by its people and known for its abundance of diverse shops and local businesses, from unique gift shops to the many outlets and markets that sell East Lothian’s fantastic produce. Local businesses are essential for our economy. They bring growth and innovation, provide employment and support the local economies and communities. They also care about their community.
“By continuing to stay safe and shop locally the people of East Lothian can help local businesses, so integral to the fabric and character of our community, to not only survive but thrive.
“We are fortunate in East Lothian to have a comprehensive retail and business offering for the benefit of local residents and the council is working to support businesses in stimulating economic recovery.
“While there are still restrictions in place and things will look and feel very different for some time to come – with physical distancing being of paramount importance - shops are starting to re-open while businesses in different sectors are gradually resuming operations or preparing to get back to business.
“Residents are encouraged to return safely and shop locally. Do consider whether travelling further to shops is necessary and by what means. Instead pay a visit to your local shop or grocers and support your local community and its recovery. And if you’re unable to shop in person, considering purchasing goods from a local business online. Many have delivery arrangements in place, have adapted and are doing things differently."
It has been provisionally announced that self-catering accommodation will be permitted from 3 July, with all holiday accommodation being able to open from 15 July.
Councillor McMillan added:
“As lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, we look forward to visitors returning to East Lothian when it is safe to do so and in line with government advice.
“If progress in tackling the virus continues to be made, we want to ensure that East Lothian is positioned to welcome visitors back to our stunning coastline and countryside, award-winning attractions, excellent food and drink and, of course, some of the world’s finest golf courses.
“In East Lothian, we truly have the best of Scotland – including our tourism and hospitality sector. We’re working very closely together, and in partnership with VisitScotland, to stimulate economic recovery and ensure local businesses emerge strong and resilient.”