Streets of Norwich packed as lockdown rules ease

Busy Gentleman's Walk in Norwich as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restri

Busy Gentleman's Walk in Norwich as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Queues formed outside coffee carts and walkways bustled as lockdown restrictions eased in Norwich.

Monday saw the easing of government rules, allowing pubs and restaurants to serve customers outdoors and non-essential retail to open.

Busy Gentleman's Walk in Norwich as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restri

Busy Gentleman's Walk in Norwich as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

And in Norwich that change was certainly evident, with shops buzzing and the city's busiest areas, including the market, Gentleman's Walk and London Street, filled with socially distanced shoppers.

The memorial gardens overlooking the market were heaving as people took the opportunity to eat an al fresco lunch under blue skies.

Busy Memorial Gardens in Norwich as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restri

Busy Memorial Gardens in Norwich as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

While the weather was cool the sun was shining and big coats and scarves were paired with sunglasses.

The city's popular beer gardens, including at the Lamb, Sir Garnet and Rooftop Gardens, were busy, with bookings set to be strong for the rest of the week.

Busy Norwich Market with most of the stalls open as people are out and about enjoying the easing of

Busy Norwich Market with most of the stalls open as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

At Chantry Place, restaurants outside the shopping centre doubled their al fresco dining capacity to serve those enjoying the lifting of lockdown.

Staff in pubs and restaurants were rushed off their feet and trying to keep up with orders as people enjoyed a glass of wine in the sun.

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One person had gone out for lunch after managing to grab an appointment for a haircut first thing, while another said they had booked a half day off work to enjoy the afternoon.

A queue which formed early in the morning outside Primark remained stubbornly throughout the day, and was still nearing the Forum by 2.30pm. 

Busy Norwich Market with most of the stalls open as people are out and about enjoying the easing of

Busy Norwich Market with most of the stalls open as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

But there were lines outside plenty of places around the city, both independent and chains, with queues building outside front doors during the lunch rush.

And while the city centre and the Lanes were very much abuzz, other areas slightly out of the centre had a more relaxed, continental vibe, with people enjoying a leisurely lunch outside.

Owners were evidently delighted to reopen, with some becoming emotional when talking about the months of closure that had passed.

Busy Norwich Market with most of the stalls open as people are out and about enjoying the easing of

Busy Norwich Market with most of the stalls open as people are out and about enjoying the easing of the Covid restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Some said their reopening had been a chance to refresh the memory on habits and routines which had, before the various lockdowns, been second nature.

Friends and colleagues were reuniting after weeks apart, in what was a chance to celebrate missed birthdays, occasions and even leaving dos.


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