The nation teeters on the edge of lifting COVID-19 restrictions, but how do Bathonians feel about it?

 ‘I’m totally up for everything being open again’, says Layla, of Jody Cory Goldsmiths, ‘[…] but let’s not blow it’.

Layla loves the hustle bustle that’s returning to the streets, and praises people of all ages who are coming into the city, eating and drinking, relishing the city’s offerings, and doing exactly, in Layla’s words, ‘what the city was made for’.

‘The vibe is back’ she says, ‘and we can have that for a couple of months and then move on to the next stage’.

Layla: excited, yes, but still cautious.

‘It’s going to be positive, because it needs to be built up again’, says Martin, the Senior Greeter at Bath’s Jane Austen Centre, who has a less cautious outlook.

Martin reports that over the bank holiday the Jane Austen Centre was incredibly busy, which was ‘good to see’, and states that if everything can be open on the 21st June it ‘would be ideal’. He claims that tourism ‘is what this little island depends on’, and believes that holding back on allowing both national and international tourism to continue will have terrible consequences for Bath.

Martin understands that if ‘numbers deteriorate’ the government ‘obviously’ can’t blithely throw restrictions aside.

‘Let’s just say touch wood’ says Martin. 

I suppose that’s all we can do, really.

Words by Jonathan R Parsonage