Sark ‘pretty much back to normal’ as lockdown lifted

SARK became the first Bailiwick island to enter stage three of the exit from lockdown yesterday, ceasing most restrictions on freedoms.

(Picture by Adrian Miller, 29303671)
(Picture by Adrian Miller, 29303671)

Residents no longer need to socially distance or wear masks and can visit non-essential businesses and each others’ homes.

Travel restrictions are still in place between the Bailiwick islands, requiring a mandatory 14-day self-isolation.

‘It’s pretty much back to normal, we’ve been pretty well connected this whole time anyway,’ said Sark Seigneur Major Christopher Beaumont.

‘Frankly it’s just us here at the moment with no tourists, so it is quite quiet, but at least we can pop to see each other with no restrictions.’

Hotels are mostly staying closed given the need for staff, Major Beaumont said.

‘My wife’s been out for her regular coffee morning at the Bel Air, which is nice to get back to. It’s lovely but it is a bit of a non-event, we’re all just quietly getting on. It will be nice to get to a restaurant.’

Nicole’s Restaurant owner Mark Reynolds said there are quite a lot of bookings for Sunday’s carvery and later in the season.

‘Lots of Guernsey people are desperate to get back in, and it’s good to book in because we get busy,’ Mr Reynolds said.

‘It hasn’t been the same really but things are getting in the right direction. We haven’t really stopped, we’re always trying to do something to make ourselves better. Having this over winter gives the chance to get things sorted out.’

The restaurant has been growing produce ready for summer and making changes in the garden.

Mini McCusker, Mermaid Tavern bartender, said everyone is enjoying being in stage three.

‘We’ve been in stage two for a week, and everybody who’s had their birthdays in lockdown are all going to have united celebrations. In the weekdays the bar isn’t rammed, if people have the opportunity to go to work they are. But people are enjoying seeing each other, having a natter and not wearing masks.’

Plenty of music, arts, food, drink and farming events are planned for the summer.

‘Fingers crossed in a few weeks after seeing how it goes with the kids back at school we can welcome people back from Guernsey. You’ll all be very, very welcome and for us it’s just as exciting to come to you.’

Guernsey is set to enter stage two on Monday, with Alderney moving to stage three on Tuesday.

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