"WE are thrilled to be reopening our doors, but we want our customers to be sensible"

That's the message from pub landlords, gym owners and shopkeepers who have welcomed the news that they can reopen when lockdown ends.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced gyms and non-essential businesses, which have been closed since November 5, will be allowed to reopen when England's lockdown ends on December 2.

The news comes after the Westminster government said the UK's four nations had backed plans to allow some mixing "for a small number of days" over Christmas.

Marcus Biles, owner of First Class Fitness in Weymouth, is thrilled to hear the news he can reopen the gym after moving all of his fitness classes online during the second lockdown.

He said: "I am really pleased that we will be able to reopen, as I'm sure every single other gym in England is.

"I think mental and physical health has been so much more negatively impacted during this second lockdown than it was in the first so it is vital we get to reopen and support our clients.

"We offer one-to-one personal training so for us not to be able to see our clients has been really hard. I cannot wait to see them all again and get that personal connection back."

As before the second lockdown, last orders in pubs will remain at 10pm, but customers will have an extra hour to finish their drinks.

Keith Treggiden, manager of Rendezvous, Royal Oak and Slug and Lettuce in Weymouth, is pleased he will be able to welcome customers back, but has concerns.

He said: "We are thrilled to be reopening our doors, but we want our customers to be sensible as I am concerned about us exiting lockdown too soon and having to go back into a tighter lockdown after the festive period if infection rates and hospitalisations increase.

"I am also worried that pub goers won't stick to the rules. It is so difficult because at Christmas people want to hug and be merry and it is going to be the responsibility of the staff to try to stop all that from happening which will be a lot of extra work for them.

"The extra hour between last orders and people having to leave the pubs will make life a bit easier for us. It would be nice if we could carry on trading until later than 10pm but this system will definitely be a lot better than the last one."

Charity shops have suffered huge losses to income after outlets were closed for a second time.

Gill Gordon, corporate services manager at Age UK North, South and West Dorset, said: "We are very much looking forward to getting back out on the high street - we are raring to go.

"We have lost a lot of money through our Weymouth, Dorchester and Bridport shops being closed and fundraising has taken a massive hit so we can't wait to welcome our customers back."

Claudia Webb, chief operations officer at Weymouth BID, is pleased the restrictions are being eased. She said: "The Government's intention is to stimulate the economy so hopefully people will feel safe enough to go into town and shop.

"After another month of being stuck inside, it will be great for people's mental health to be able to get out and see people socially."