THERE is an acceptance that Covid will be with us for years to come.

But in terms of day-to-day life, things could seem very much back to normal after July 19.

That is the date on which almost all coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted – dubbed 'Freedom Day'.

Within weeks there could be shows again at the Parr Hall and from dining out to propping up the bar at the pub, we will no longer have to be guarded about social distancing or who we are out with.

Nightclubs can also operate much as they did before the pandemic.

Former Woolston High student Lee Harman is organising 'Asylum' – one of the first club nights at FC2 in Barbauld Street after Covid rules drop.

He said: "The rock night Asylum was due to return after a five-year absence – it’s now coming back after six and three lockdowns.

"It’s great to know it can go ahead finally but there will be a lot of caution from patrons. It may only be after our second or third events where we will be having full nights.

Event organiser Lee Harman

Event organiser Lee Harman

"That said we’ve been honoured that so many people have kept their tickets from the original date. There have been so many postponements we’ve been hesitant to promote the date heavily in case its not meant to be.

"But I think after the lockdowns and everything being the same week in, week out, people are after a bit of a release and a quality night out.

"I'm happy for people to pay on entry but by buying tickets for their friends, it’s meant they are showing support for what we’re doing."

Going to the pub after July 19 will be a lot easier too. Face masks will be optional and social distancing and mandatory table service will be scrapped.

Alex Wright's Latchford pub, The Cheshire Cheese, was closed for almost half of 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions. He felt particularly penalised during the 'tier system' when he could not open simply because the venue did not serve food.

He added: "Fingers crossed they’ll be no more backward steps. It’ll be terrific to return to some sort of normality and certainly be less stressful for me and the staff.

"It’ll mean we don’t have to police the pub regarding things like social distancing and face masks.

"It also means the pub can accommodate more customers which is obviously much needed given the last year we’ve had."

Andy Kinsella, who runs Cafe at the End of the Universe at Warrington Market, reckons customers will feel more relaxed when they can move around freely in the Cookhouse and don't have to 'check in' and wear masks. That in turn could boost trade.

The former Priestley College student said: "I think it will make a difference with the rules being more relaxed, it will be people's choice to wear masks.

"We do feel we have a very safe set-up at the market with the screens between tables and at out counter so we'd encourage people to wear masks if they feel comfortable doing so and making sure we can continue to serve people safely.

Andy Kinsella, of Cafe at the End of the Universe

Andy Kinsella, of Cafe at the End of the Universe

"In all honestly its been difficult being able to talk to customers properly through masks and screens but we have to balance it all with safety.

"Some people will probably still prefer using the QR code from the table but people will be able to order from the counter again from July 19.

"Looking ahead, we also have big plans to bring back our food challenge and other events we've been unable to do in the past year."

Zahid Iqbal who runs Hani'z – a world buffet restaurant in Bridge Street – does not think the coronavirus restrictions dropping will be a quick fix for hospitality though.

He added: "I think generally it will give the country a lift but there is still a lot of uncertainty out there. Covid hasn't gone away.

"I think people are still a little bit reluctant to come out so it will have an effect on businesses for a long time to come. Just last week alone we had 15 cancellations.

"There's also been an issue regarding staffing because when lockdown happened last year so many staff left the industry and never returned.

"This is a massive problem. We're trying to recruit staff for certain roles and it's really difficult.

"Hopefully people's confidence to come out will gradually come back as this is something we have to live with for a number of years."

Some elements of pandemic life could be here to stay though.

Table service often comes up in conversation in a positive light and James Glover and Mike Mason were inspired to build a new business around that.

Their upmarket bar The Grand in Bridge Street is described as a 'restaurant without food' as everything is brought to customers.

James, who also runs Hideout in Sankey Street and the Bold Street nightclub Block 1, said: "We have enjoyed the change and prefer the seated/booking aspect but will welcome not enforcing masks.

"Block 1 will lose the tables on the dance floor and hopefully be able to operate at a better capacity.

"I think people were definitely put off by the restrictions but also a lot of people missed not going out so overall I don’t think it will be any busier.

"I’m made up things are getting back to normal – whether they stay like this I’m not sure but things seem to be going in the right direction."

Boris Johnson's announcement about July 19 has been welcomed with 'real hope and positivity' by Culture Warrington as its historic concert venue Parr Hall's doors have been shut since March 2020.

But the charity's team are waiting on further details from the government before revealing their full reopening plans. It will be a big step as many Culture Warrington staff are still on furlough.

Emma Hutchinson, managing director of Culture Warrington, said: “Like many arts organisations across the country, this past year has been a time of unprecedented challenges and we welcome this week’s announcement regarding the lifting of restrictions with real hope and positivity.

Chris Persoglio at an empty Parr Hall

Chris Persoglio at an empty Parr Hall

“However, as ever, the health and wellbeing of our customers remains of paramount importance, so we continue to carefully monitor government guidance to see what steps we need to take moving forward.

“We can’t wait to reopen our venues to the Warrington public and we look forward to welcoming you back for a truly incredible season of events.”

'Freedom Day' was originally supposed to be June 21 but was delayed due to concerns about the fast spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Lee added: "There’s been lots of frustration in the hospitality industry that they were doing absolutely everything and in many cases, above what was being asked of them only to have goalposts moved. We don’t have a lot of time to get ready for our club night on the 19th but we’re excited.

"Night clubs and gigs were among the first to shut down first and last to reopen.

"We understand people will be cautious and safeguards will be in place to some degree. But many of our fans need a release after the year and half we’ve had.

"They’ll soon get lost in the music and be laughing with friends once again. It’s what nights out are about."