David McKinlay, Archangel 1608 Tattoo Studio, Maryhill, Glasgow:

I’VE had the studio for 15 years and I’ve been tattooing for 20. During lockdown, the only tattoos I’ve done have been on my daughter and I. She got two, and I’ve been working on a big Bob Marley piece on my leg. I’ve done about eight hours on it and it’s got about two to go. I need to get it finished before we re-open.

We’re dying to get back to work. It should be July 22 for us, but we’re waiting on getting that announcement.

It’s been a frustrating time. Financially, we’ve taken a massive hit, but I also need to start working for my mental health, and I know there are a lot of people waiting on us. We want to look after our regular customers. You form strong bonds when you tattoo people, and a lot of our customers have become friends, and you want to see them.

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We get a good mix of people coming in. People even come down from places like Aberdeen. We get actresses, actors, Old Firm footballers and fighters like Joanne Calderwood, who’s a family friend – she was my daughter’s first Muay Thai coach.

There are three artists in the studio and our waiting list can be anywhere from four to eight weeks for each of us. When we closed, we had to reschedule a lot of appointments. Now we’re going to be fully booked for at least the first six weeks, which is good to know. Things will have to be different when we come back. We’ll have to stagger appointment times so everyone’s not coming in together and we have to have a half hour between clients for sterilisation.

Tattoo studios are social places

Tattoo studios are licensed and the main part of that is about your sterilisation and hygiene practices, which must be at a really high level, so tattoo studios are maybe better prepared for the changes we all have to make than some other businesses.

We’ve got hand-sanitiser dispensers and our PPE and we’ve put in partitions and Perspex screens so people can still see each other and talk. Tattoo studios are social places.

You can be in the chair a long time and people like to talk to each other and share the experience, and it takes their minds off the pain. We’ll also be taking people’s temperatures. We really want people to feel safe when they come in.

We’ve eaten into our savings over the past 14 weeks. We’ve been selling T-shirts online to generate the money to pay for the additional measures, but we won’t be putting our prices up. I don’t agree with people having to pay more for their tattoos when everybody’s been in the same boat, not able to work.

When we started there were 12 other studios in the area, we were number 13, which is considered lucky in the tattoo business. Now there are about 65, but we’ve heard of two or three that won’t be re-opening, which is pretty sad.”

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Laura Hunt, The Brown Bull, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire:

IF I had £5 for every time somebody has asked me when we’re re-opening, I’d be looking at a holiday just now.

I was self-isolating because I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma so I’d not really been out, but when I did it took me half an hour to walk 50 metres because people kept wanting to ask. It’s not our pub, it’s the customers’ pub – I’ve even seen dogs pulling their owners towards the door to go in, and the owners saying “it’s not open, we’re not going in”.

We’ll decide our opening date over the weekend and put it on Facebook. A lot of our customers are on there.

The population of the village is under 3000 and we have three pubs, two clubs and an indoor football where you can get a drink as well. A lot of people use more than one, but I don’t want to stay closed too long because I’m missing everybody and I don’t want to miss out on customers.

In England, pubs had great business the weekend they re-opened, but during the week it fell flat on its face and some had to close again because they had coronavirus cases

We haven’t opened our beer garden yet. We have a small pub and an older clientele, so we decided to wait to see how everything is going – will there be another spike?

But I’m like everybody else, I’m watching the bank balance go down and down and down. All the staff are furloughed, which is good for them. When we do go back, we want things to feel as normal as possible, but there will be more onus on us to watch how everyone is behaving. We can’t have live music inside, we’ve got to deter everybody from shouting or talking loudly or singing. There’s more pressure on the staff to make sure that customers are alright.

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The pub dates to 1809 and we have a restaurant above the bar that we can use to create more space for social distancing and we have a smokers’ area and the beer garden. Altogether, we should be able to fit in the same number of people but across double the area. We’ll have to have extra staff on as well for that.

In England, pubs had great business the weekend they re-opened, but during the week it fell flat on its face and some had to close again because they had coronavirus cases.

I understand why people want to re-open straight away, but is that demand going to last? People need to feel safe and secure. I’ll have my visor on and my additional measures in place for everybody.

Mike Benson, Scottish Crannog Centre, Kenmore, Perthshire:

I HOPE people come and reconnect with us. It’s been an absolute disaster, a dreadful time, but it’s like the First Minister says, you can bring the economy back but you can’t bring people back.

We’ve chosen August 1 as our re-opening date. We thought that if we hung back a bit we’d have a good, clean run.

Our business is about people and our strength is how we connect with people. Normally we have very close contact with everybody.

We’ve had to totally re-imagine how we remain instructive and hands-on and also keep everybody safe. We’ve been doing an awful lot of training and planning.

Normally we would be taking groups of 40 into our crannog, and we can’t do that now. We’re trying to fathom out, depending on social bubbles and family groups, how to keep that going.

There is some anxiety about it. My first duty is to the fantastic team we’ve got here and I want them to feel safe and comfortable, as well as our visitors.

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This is a really special place. We have items in our collection that go back 2500 years, like part of a wooden instrument that would have taken real skill to make and play. The people who lived here weren’t enduring some sort of basic existence. If you think about the Ancient Greeks, people on Loch Tay might not have been eating grapes, but they weren’t doing badly.

The level of craftsmanship on items we have is fantastic. It’s that human being-ness and day-to-day living we try to capture for visitors – only as a community can we best connect with the community of 2500 years ago.

The hotels in the area are taking plenty of bookings right into winter, which is good news

We’ve furloughed some people who are all coming back. We’re actually going to have even more staff than last year to keep people safe and be able to deliver the same level of service. We also have three fantastic new apprentices starting.

We’ve had two record years in a row and we were looking forward to another great year. We’d planned 70 evening events with music, but that’s all been cancelled. We were really going for it, but we’ll do it next year instead. This year is just about being open.

We have what we call the “90 minute people” who can reach us easily from Edinburgh or Glasgow or Perth, and that market has grown recently. We also have international tourists. The hotels in the area are taking plenty of bookings right into winter, which is good news.

Before the pandemic we’d been trying to buy a new site and that’s now going through the legal process. It’ll be 10 times bigger and allow us to do a lot more.

We are going to have less income this year, but we’re looking ahead. For re-opening, we want people to come and take a breath at this wonderful place.