Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis hails 'exhilarating' reopening of non-essential retail in England

12 April 2021, 18:55

By Sam Sholli

Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis has told LBC that the re-opening of non-essential retail in England is "quite exhilarating".

Gyms, pub gardens and non-essential shops have welcomed back customers today as England's lockdown restrictions have been eased.

Mr Paphitis, who owns Ryman, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue, told LBC: "To actually get colleagues back to work and visit the stores today and see people back in those stories...it really is like taking a breath after being under water for a very long time. It has been quite exhilarating."

LBC's Eddie Mair then asked Mr Paphitis how confident he is that "there is no going back this time" when it comes to the lockdown restrictions that have been eased.

Mr Paphitis responded: "Never say never. I learned that lesson a long time ago. But I'm confident.

"I think what we've done this time is the right thing. We've really taken it slowly. I mean the number of deaths are coming down...the infections are going down."

Boris Johnson urged the public to "behave responsibly" as pub gardens reopened and restaurants resumed outdoor dining.

The Prime Minister said: "I'm sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it's a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed.

"I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air' to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme."

At present, roughly 61 per cent of adults have had at least one dose of the vaccine while official figures suggest more than 32 million people have received a jab.

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