Barrhead Travel staff in Scotland celebrated returning to their stores on Monday as the country lifted its four-month winter lockdown.

Twenty-five stores north of the border opened their doors two weeks after staff at 17 Barrhead shops in England returned on April 12.

Non-essential businesses – pubs, gyms, swimming pools, restaurants and cafes – all reopened on Monday and travel restrictions were eased, allowing trips to the rest of the UK for ‘non-essential reasons’ for the first time since December 26.

Livingston, Barrhead Travel, April 2021

Barrhead Travel in Livingston 

Barrhead Travel president Jacqueline Dobson called the reopening “a significant moment” in Scotland, adding that the queues which quickly formed demonstrated how much “people love the high street”.

She said: “Although we’ve been able to support our customers virtually over the last 12 months, nothing beats face-to-face interaction.

More: Travel agencies report positive return to high street

“I think the photographs of long queues outside shops that are circulating in the media today demonstrate that people love the high street and truly value the experience of going into a store and enjoying personal service.

The Gyle, Barrhead Travel, April 2021

Barrhead Travel at The Gyle Shopping Centre in Edinburgh 

“It’s a significant moment for high streets across Scotland today as retailers can finally reopen their doors.

“Our English-based stores began reopening a few weeks ago and have been warmly welcomed back by their communities. We know that our teams across Scotland are receiving the same reception from their local customers today.”

She added: “Our colleagues are thrilled to be back in-store, seeing their customers face-to-face.

“We’ve been challenged in ways we could never imagine as an industry during this pandemic, and I am so proud of the team and their commitment to helping keep the business moving forward.”

Dunfermline, Barrhead Travel, April 2021

Barrhead Travel in Dunfermline 

Dobson also said that there was “a renewed sense of optimism” for the months ahead but admitted that customers were still cautious about booking for this summer.

Cameron Toll, Barrhead Travel, April 2021

Barrhead Travel at Cameron Toll Shopping Centre in Edinburgh

She called for the government to keep travel’s recovery on track and to “ensure clear lines of communication are created with the industry so that customer-facing agents can help steer travel guidance to holidaymakers and other travellers”.

Main picture: Barrhead Travel at Braehead Shopping Centre