The owner of an Old Town restaurant has spoken of her frustration with the Government over easing lockdown restrictions.

Popular tapas bar Los Gatos has been closed since lockdown began in March and Shareen Campbell, who co-owns the business with Phil Saunter, says reopening isn’t as simple as flicking a switch.

In fact she thinks Tuesday's announcement by prime minister Boris Johnson that pubs and restaurants can open from July 4 might have come too soon.

She said: “We’re not entirely convinced it’s the right time. Many of our customers will be very nervous about coming out.

“And the problem with Los Gatos is that it has a reputation of being very busy and crowded.

“Some people like that and obviously it’s not going to be crowded again. So we need to keep our customers confident that what we’re doing to protect them and our staff is the right thing.”

She said: “It’s been very frustrating that there’s been a series of rumour, leaks and speculation about July 4.

“It’s a problem for small independent businesses like us because we can’t commit to spending money on making changes if they’re not the right ones.

“For a big chain restaurant they have already put in place signage and screens at enormous cost and then the guidance changes to one metre and they’ve wasted their money. On a small scale, we haven’t got that money to waste. We haven’t got any money. So we can’t do it until it’s the right thing to do.”

Shareen said the financial cost of the lockdown has been massive for the business and she now owes money to suppliers.

But despite the issues, she is confident the restaurant can recover and says the community has been supportive. “We are flattered and delighted by the amount of support we have in Swindon.

“And people are desperate for us to reopen. The prime minister hadn’t even sat down on Tuesday and we already had people messaging us asking for a reservation on the fourth of July.

“We wish it was that easy but it’s not. We can’t start taking reservations until we know we’ll be ready.”

There is currently no reopening date for Los Gatos.

Premises like hotels, holiday lets, churches, community centres, and cinemas have been told they can open from July 4.