Gym and salon owners pleased to see 'light at the end of the tunnel'

Inside the new Fitness at Summer's Park gym Picture: DEAN SMITH/FITNESS AT SUMMER'S PARK

Gyms will be able to open their doors from April 12 - Credit: DEAN SMITH/FITNESS AT SUMMER'S PARK

Salon and gym owners in Suffolk and north Essex have said they are excited and ready to get back to work following the government's latest lockdown easing announcement. 

It is hoped that from April 12, subject to infection data, both gyms and salons will be able to welcome back customers. 

Leo Martin from Iron Mighty Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Leo Martin from Iron Mighty said he was pleased to be able to re-open - Credit: Archant

"It's fantastic news," said Leo Martin, from Iron Mighty in Saxmundham.

"We opened in January 2020 so it was the worst possible year to do it."

Mr Martin said that the news of the gym's opening would be a great relief to his customers. 

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"We are still in contact with them and everyone is desperate to get back in and get back to normal," said Mr Martin. 

Dean Smith and Tendring councillor Carlo Guglielmi Picture: DEAN SMITH/FITNESS AT SUMMER'S PARK

Dean Smith (left) said the past year had been hell - Credit: DEAN SMITH/FITNESS AT SUMMER'S PARK

Dean Smith, who runs Fitness At Summers Park in Lawford, said he was also pleased with the news. 

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"I was hanging on for this announcement for a few months," said Mr Smith. 

"We have lost so much business. It will be good to get back in."

Mr Smith's gym also opened in January 2020, meaning the first year was incredibly tough.

"It was hell," said Mr Smith. 

Mr Smith said that he had Covid-friendly cleaning equipment in place since opening and that his customers felt comfortable coming back. 

He said that industry-wide, it was going to take time to get people back in. 

"I think overall it will take time for people to get the confidence back," said Mr Smith. 

Let's hope our salons are open again soon, once it is safe to do so

Salons will be opening their doors for the first time in months - Credit: Getty Images

Salons will also be opening on April 12. 

Debbie Digby, found of the Feather Group which has five salons in north Essex, said that staff were excited to get back to work. 

"There's light at the end of the tunnel," said Ms Digby. 

"We are being tentative with it though, we have been here before."

Ms Digby said the past few months had been difficult for the company and for staff, despite the help that government funds had brought. 

"It's tough on a couple of levels - financially it's tough," said Ms Digby. 

"It's been really tough for the team as well."

While many of the staff had been undergoing training during lockdown, it had been very tough for those who had been furloughed. 

"It's tough to be stuck at home," said Ms Digby. 

"We are looking forward to getting them ready to return."

Ms Digby said within hours of the announcement, the salons had been getting enquiries from people ready to return. 

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