Opinion: Time for everyone across Falkirk district to get back out again

Hands up who has been out for a meal in the last couple of weeks?

By Kate Livingstone
Friday, 7th August 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Friday, 7th August 2020, 1:04 pm

Hands up who has been out for a meal in the last couple of weeks?

And I don’t mean to buy the ingredients at a supermarket or even a takeaway as I recently 
succumbed to while out with my grandchildren – well after weeks of not seeing them I’m allowed to indulge occasionally.

No, what I mean is who has been to a proper eating out establishment?

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The HMRC's new Eat Out to Help out initiative is aimed at protecting jobs in the hospitality industry

Restaurant, cafe or pub, anywhere that provides food and a bag of cheese and onion crisps in the pub certainly doesn’t count.

I have to confess that I’m yet to enjoy a full meal but intend to make use of this Eat Out to Help Out scheme where you get food half price Monday to Wednesday.

It sounds almost too good to be true but, if some of the dining places I’ve passed this week are anything to go by, it’s certainly being well supported.

Until now I’ve been a bit reluctant and think that knowing my luck, having being fastidious with hand washing and mask wearing up till now, it would just be my luck to get struck down with this dreaded virus.

However, I suppose that if I don’t go out soon then I’ll end up reclusive – and that certainly wouldn’t be good for my constitution!

So I’m going to do my bit to rescue the economy and 
support some local businesses.

I read that across the country it’s problem is with people booking then not turning up.

A really poor no show by those making a reservation then failing to have the courtesy to say they didn’t want it.

Things are tough enough for the hospitality industry at the moment without these sort of thoughtless acts.

I’ve not been totally stuck indoors and have been for a couple of quick coffees in cafes, usually when Emma persuades me that she can’t walk another step without some caffeine.

In one of the places we visited the young girl was incredibly helpful with the elderly woman trying to log into the Track and Trace QR code.

Now I’m only able to say this because Emma had previously shown me what to do or I wouldn’t have had a clue either.

But when we sat down the couple at the next table, the required social distance of course, were discussing what they should do.

The man was telling his partner she should do it as she had her phone out.

She just laughed and said it was too much fuss over nothing and a complete waste of time.

I had to give Emma lots of those sort of “say nothing” looks as I didn’t want to make a scene, particularly as Jack and Sophie were with us.

However, later when we discussed it out of earshot of the children, I agreed that perhaps we should have spoken up.

It’s people like that, adopting the “it’s not going to affect me” attitude that are causing local lockdowns as we’ve had in Leicester and Aberdeen.

These have implications for thousands of people and hundreds of businesses because a few people think they are above following the guidelines.

We all need to do our bit – now can someone help me down off my soapbox ...