'It's not worth the risk' - Shoppers react to rise in coronavirus cases
- Credit: Emily Thomson
Shoppers in Norwich have said now is not the time to relax coronavirus rules as infection rates rise.
Many families are looking forward to celebrating the festive holidays and spend time with their loved ones after a difficult year.
From December 23 to December 27, families will be able to form a ‘Christmas bubble’, which will mean three households can meet indoors.
But as rates and hospital admissions continue to rise, many are concerned that the relaxed rules could make matters worse.
Jim Baxter, 69, from Oulton Broad, was visiting Norwich city centre on Monday. He said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea and I think we should stay in Tier 2 over Christmas to be honest with you.
“I know it will cause a lot of hardship for some people but I think that’s the only way we are going to beat it.
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"I’m sure come January, February there is going to be a lot more cases with all of this mixing. I’m not in favour of the rules being relaxed.”
Maisie Cox-Parker, 18, is a student at Notre Dame’s sixth form college and said she will not be visiting her grandparents this Christmas, in a bid to keep them safe.
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“I don’t see why we should fall at the last hurdle,” she said.
“I am in Norwich every day and I don’t want to potentially take it home to them when we have been so strict for so long.
“I’m doing Christmas on my own, at home with my parents and younger brother.
“I don’t see why we should relax it at the last minute, when vaccinations are being brought out, just because it’s Christmas.
“I think we should keep in Tier 2, keep going as we are and keep rates down as much as we can.”
Lauren Taylor Lawrence is an assistant nurse at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and said she thinks Norfolk could end up in Tier 3.
“I personally will not be seeing any family outside of my immediate family,” she said.
“I have three small children who have been in school with three different school groups. It’s just not worth the risk.
“But I think people who want to see their families are going to see them anyway.”
But Sarah Hodgson, from Poringland, said she believes families should be able to visit each other during the holidays.
She said: “I think you should allow your family to come and visit because a lot of people haven’t been able to see their families.
“Most people I know are still going to have a very restrictive Christmas anyway. Hopefully people will be sensible but I do think families should be allowed to visit."
Brian Wells, owner of Carello’s mobile coffee van, based in the city centre, said he isn’t surprised rates are on the rise and said the rules should not be relaxed.
“I see it here, the volume of people in the city and you just know it is going to spike again,” he said.
“I don’t think the rules should be relaxed. But it’s like pubs - I feel safer in a pub than I do in some shops.
“It has been really busy in the city. When you stand here all day, seven days a week and watch what other people are doing you can see all of their mistakes.”
Tiers across the UK will be reviewed on December 16 and the government will decide if Norfolk should remain under Tier 2 restrictions.
Mr and Mrs Dickson, 73, from Costessey, said they will be spending Christmas on their own and that Norfolk should stay where it is.
Mrs Dickson said: “We are not meeting anyone over Christmas. Our daughter is a teacher and therefore is not coming near us, our son also works and is not coming near us.
“We are staying in our own place on our own. I don’t think the rules should be relaxed. It will make it worse.
Mr Dickson added: “If people allow themselves to visit people over Christmas it is going to be an awful lot worse and there will be a lot more deaths.”