AT last! Lockdown is lifted and the sun came out as if to welcome people back to the high streets and to a life approaching normality.

But there was a chill breeze.

Indeed, only two out of every five hospitality venues have outdoor areas and are able to re-open, so there are a lot of places still unable to begin to return.

And, for all the high footfall and optimism on the first day, there is still a long way to go on our road to recovery. People flushed with the novelty may have been going shopping yesterday, but on a wet Tuesday in a month’s time, will the tills still be jingling?

We hope so. But there is going to have to be a lot of hard work by businesses, shopping centres, town centres, councils and business improvement districts to entice shoppers from the ease and comfort of online shopping. As well as unique products, there has to be a genuine welcome, real service and an experience – street drama and events – to make going out a joy, not a chore.

There are many great businesses run by ingenuous people, and we can all do our bit by patronising them and keeping our local high streets alive.

And by keeping our social distance – in terms of the pandemic, we are not out of the woods yet.