'Freedom day' has been greeted with caution by businesses across Knutsford as the number of Covid cases continue to rise.

Many shop owners say staff will continue to wear masks and offer customers hand sanitisers as all coronavirus restrictions were lifted today.

Julia Chard, from Mr Simms Old Sweet Shoppe on King Street, said: "We will be leaving a sanitiser station at the front of the shop, keeping the counter screen in place and staff will wear visors when in the public space.

"At busy times we will still limit the number of customers.

"We will be offering personal shopping appointments between 10am and 11am to give customers who are perhaps still nervous, exclusive access."

Knutsford businesses

Shops and businesses have pledged to keep some safety measures to protect shoppers Pictures Sarah Jane King Photography

Reassuring customers who may feel a little anxious that they will be kept safe, they say, is their top priority.

Peter Murray, from Pulse of Perfumery on Princess Street, said: "It is our intention to maintain the full screen across the width of the perfumery that has been in place.

"We will maintain the hand sanitiser facilities. Product will not be available for clients to touch and we will continue to wear gloves when serving.

Knutsford businesses

Peter Murray will be keeping a full screen across the counter at his Pulse of Perfumery shop

"All areas will be wiped down with sanitiser cloths after every transaction."

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Heather O'Hanlon, dispenser at Cohens Chemist on Princess Street, said: "We will carry on with masks and shields and keep our partitions and hand gel."

Julie Hamer, manager of Holly Johnson Antiques on Old Market Place, said: "We will still wear a mask because the number of people with Covid are escalating.

" Fortunately, we have a lot of space in our shop so we have not had to restrict numbers.

"I hope lifting restrictions will bring more people into town. Business has been quiet since the last lockdown."

Knutsford businesses

Businesses hope the lifting of coronavirus restrictions will attract more shoppers into town

Roger Lewin, manager of Knutsford Hearing Centre on Princess Street, said: "We have been open all the time and were exempt from wearing masks. But we do put masks on when we get close to customers for certain operations."

Kate Kindred, a partner at Techno Type on King Street, said: "We have taken the decision to keep our hygiene stations and screens up as a precautionary measure, both to protect staff and customers with cases still being quite high.

"It is member of staff's own decision whether they wear a mask or not.

"There will continue to be a deep clean of all the shop counters and touch points morning and night so people can come into our shop with confidence."