Businesses deemed non-essential by the Government are preparing to reopen their doors once again next Wednesday.

The easing of lockdown will also include five days over the Christmas period – between December 23 and 27 – when up to three households will be able to form a ‘festive bubble’.

While pubs and restaurants are also set to reopen next week, Covid restrictions will remain in place in relation to the new tier system.

David Ord, who runs Ten Green Bottles Vintage in Hexham’s Market Place, said he was expecting a challenging month ahead for businesses.

“It’s been a tough year and it has impacted upon trade,” he said. “The most important thing is public health. While it will be good to reopen, we have to do so with caution.

“We’ll have to again restrict the number of people in the shop at any one time, and strict safety measures will be in place.”

After the first lockdown of 2020, non-essential businesses were allowed to reopen on June 15, but David waited another fortnight to make interior improvements and ensure the premises was compliant.

This time around, he is on course to open in line with other businesses next Wednesday.

He added: “A lot of businesses work very hard, and have been through an awful lot this year.

“There will be a few weeks of Christmas trade but I think for everyone, the vaccine and a return to normal can’t come quick enough. Sales will increase at that point.”

Ten Green Bottles Vintage offers original vintage clothing, including tweed jackets and headwear, as well as suitcases and other accessories, and restored record players from the 1950s and 1960s.

David said he had been able to sell a reduced number of items online during the lockdown period.