'It's very exciting' - North Norfolk's tourist sector reacts to roadmap

Benji Cabbell-Manners, owner of Amazona Zoo, Cromer. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Benji Cabbell-Manners, owner of Amazona Zoo, Cromer. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Visitor attractions and tourist operators in north Norfolk have greeted the lockdown easing roadmap with enthusiasm.

Benjie Cabbell Manners, owner of Amazona Zoo in Cromer, said he was thrilled the roadmap meant the zoo would once again be able to welcome visitors from April 12.

Mr Cabbell Manners said: "We can start to plan for an opening which is safe for our visitors and get everything ready for what we hope will be a busy summer.”

Simon Daykin, director of the Wells Maltings, which includes a theatre, art gallery and cafe, said the announcement could only be seen "with optimism" and he looked forward to being able to hold indoor performances again starting from mid-May.

Mr Daykin said: "It's great to see that as we go into the busy season there is the possibility of being able to trade again. We have to get back on our feet and the way we do that is to welcome visitors in a safe way.

"Throughout all of this we've put the safety of our community and the people who work here first and that has to continue to be our top priority."

Mr Daykin said a crucial milestone for the entertainment sector would be when social distancing measures could be eased, and venues such as the Maltings' theatre could be enjoyed "as they were intended" - as a shared experience in close proximity to other people.

The Wells maltings. Picture: Supplied by the Maltings/Sarah Toon Photography

- Credit: Archant

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Lucy Richardson, from Sheringham-based Crabpot Cottages letting agency which runs 31 holiday lets in north Norfolk, said the announcement was "very welcome".

The rules will mean people from one household  can stay at a holiday let from April 12, possibly increasing to two households holidaying together from May 17.

Miss Richardson said: "It's definitely sooner than we thought. It's a shame we haven't got Easter, but before we thought perhaps we wouldn't be able to open at all until May.

"It's very exciting and we cannot wait to open our doors again - It will be good to get back to some sort of normality."

Miss Richardson said they had already had an influx of bookings since the announcement.

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