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The eerily quiet streets and deserted facilities of Arran have sprung back to life this week. Visitors and local have tentatively ventured out farther than they have in months and even the mini golf course has had families taking advantage of the seafront attraction.
The easing of lockdown restrictions as we drift gently in phase 3 of the route map back to normality is certainly a welcome sight, not only for businesses and the Arran economy but also for those longing for a semblance of normality in their lives. The elderly, those with children or mental health issues and anyone else who has struggled with the quarantine, will see the easing of restrictions and outdoor socialising as a literal breath of fresh air.
It is still far too early to gauge if the delicate balancing act of stimulating business and protecting public health will be achieved on Arran but the warnings are plain to see in Leicester, Spain and Australia from where lessons can be learned.
This delicate equilibrium will undoubtedly be helped by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcenment of a VAT cut on food, accommodation and attractions which will play a large part in helping businesses on Arran survive and start to recover financially.
And coupled with concerted efforts from the Council and various groups and individuals on Arran there is light at the end of the tunnel and as long as we approach it steadily, with caution and optimism, we may all find that a new sense of normality returns far quicker than predicted.