Shopping centre queues for PlayStation 5 slammed by leader
- Credit: SUBMITTED
Long queues to buy PlayStation 5 consoles at a Norwich shopping centre during lockdown have been branded “frustrating” by a council leader.
There is mounting urgency to persuade the public to stay at home amid surging coronavirus cases in Norfolk.
But on Thursday, scores of people snaked around the Chantry Place shopping centre, as customers who had ordered Playstation 5 consoles went to collect them from Game.
Photographs of the queues led to anger and bewilderment from some members of the public.
And Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, criticised the lack of consistency over which shops could keep selling products in lockdown.
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And he added that he hoped the queues for the Sony console did not trigger further outbreaks.
Coronavirus rates in Norfolk went up from 100 cases per 100,000 people in the week to November 6 to 149 per 100,000 in the week to November 13. There are 161 people with Covid-19 being treated in the county’s hospitals.
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The council launched a fresh plea for people to only leave home when it was essential and to follow the national guidelines.
The national lockdown restrictions state people should stay at home, unless journeys are essential, while non-essential businesses have closed.
But businesses can still provide click and collect services, as was the case with Game. Masked customers socially distanced in queues as they collected consoles.
County Hall leader Mr Proctor said: “We all know we want to keep the economy moving and we all know people want to get the latest kit as soon as it comes out. But is this really the time it should be happening?
“My big concern is really, when this has been put into place - the business restrictions - is the lack of consistency.
“The thing I’d hate to see from this, as well, is that people have queued up there today and we end up getting an outbreak of Covid as a result.”
Chantry Place’s marketing manager Sheridan Smith said: “Game, like a number of outlets in Chantry Place, is open for click and collect only and their customers had to pre-order in advance.
“When we opened at 9am, people were obviously keen to pick-up their order as early as possible. Our security team were on hand to remind people about maintaining physical distancing.
“Shoppers were understanding and, with the Game team dealing with orders promptly, the queue had virtually disappeared by 10am.”