Non-essential shops and cafes across the region opened their doors on Monday for the first time in over three months.

As lockdown restrictions eased, locations throughout the Tyne Valley were able to welcome people through their doors for the first time since December, much to the delight of both staff and customers.

In Haltwhistle, the high street was a hive of action as sunny weather helped welcome customers back, with a range of businesses reopening their doors.

One of which was Just Flowers, who have had to work behind closed doors during the latest lockdown, with owner Jane Burns admitting she was delighted to see everyone out and about again.

“We’ve been busy,” said Jane.

“It’s been good! It’s been nice to see people out and see all the hustle and bustle too. It’s good to be at least trying to get back to normal.

“We all just have to be careful with everything that’s been going on.

“It’s nice to get open and hear people outside.

“You can hear people talking and you’ve never heard that for nearly a year!”

Beano’s Sandwich Bar was another business in the town to take advantage of the rules changing and were able to welcome back customers outdoors for the first time in months.

“It was a bit nerve wrecking (on Monday morning),” said Claire from Beano’s.

“We were a bit nervous, but it’s been fine, especially with everyone adhering to it (the rules).

In Hexham, a similar story took place, with more locations giving their feedback as they re-opened for the first time this year.

“It’s lovely to see new and regular customers coming in,” said Andrea Gaskill, shop manager at Scope.

“It’s exciting, it’s a relief and it just gives you a buzz to know that you’re seeing people again raising money for disabled families.”

“It (on Monday) was like the first day of school again, commented Paolo Pani, owner of Salute Coffee Bar.

“It is like a new thing for me, like a new opening. It has been a long time and it has been very hard and I’m hoping to make people happy.

“It’s bringing things a bit more life,” added staff member at the coffee shop Jacob Kroese.

“Everyone can socialise outside too. It’s good to talk to the customers again.”