Finla Coffee aside – the rules must be made fairer for all

There was a decidedly un-lockdown feel about the first day of lockdown, with anyone who ventured into town being able to go inside any number of different shops under the auspices of their ‘essential’ status.

You could get coffee, sandwiches and even heartier meals such as burgers as long as you were willing to take them away and consume them off the premises.

Many may not think that is such a bad thing, as it allowed an element of trade which also meant some workers carrying on instead of sitting at home relying on Government handouts which will, of course, have to be paid for by the taxpayer.

While one cafe, Finla Coffee, appeared to have taken this a little too far by allowing customers to sit down, they could still continue to operate on this takeaway basis and remain within the law.

Yet if you were the owner or staff member of any one of a number of other retailers, you are not so lucky and will be shut for a month – at least.

And therein lies the rub: If you sell clothes, electrical items, or books, you will have to close, while all of those items remain on the shelves of supermarkets which will now hoover up the business.

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While clarifying the rules for businesses would be helpful, there will be plenty who still feel there is an inherent unfairness about much of the guidance and rules.

A level playing field is the least that retailers should expect in the current climate.

For now, it may be up to the public to use their common sense and moral compass to try and keep their local shops open.

Yet it should not come down to the public to level up the retail playing field by voting with their feet.
Some fairness in who can trade in what needs to be applied – and fast.

Plymouth Live