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‘You have to be respectful’ - Shoppers share their thoughts on latest coronavirus restrictions

PUBLISHED: 13:47 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 14:38 31 July 2020

Clockwise from topleft: Shoppers on Gentleman's Walk enjoy a sunny day, Gary Ponting, Derek Browne, Steve and Dana White. Picture: Staff

Clockwise from topleft: Shoppers on Gentleman's Walk enjoy a sunny day, Gary Ponting, Derek Browne, Steve and Dana White. Picture: Staff

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Shoppers in Norwich have shared their thoughts on life post-lockdown, whether people are following social distancing guidelines and if they think a localised lockdown could be introduced in Norfolk.

Shoppers out and about in Norwich on Friday morning have sharedtheir thoughts on life post-lockdown. Picture; StaffShoppers out and about in Norwich on Friday morning have sharedtheir thoughts on life post-lockdown. Picture; Staff

The majority of people this newspaper spoke to in the city centre on Friday morning highlighted the need for everyone to be respectful of current restrictions, and while many thought a localised lockdown was not impossible, it was unlikely in the East.

Gary Ponting, 41, a joiner and carpenter from Laxfield on the Norfolk and Suffolk border said he currently felt okay with restrictions. He said; “I don’t think it’s right to criticise anyone really, I think everybody is trying to the best they can.

“I find it difficult to see a way around [restrictions] and I think we have to respect all those people who are vulnerable, but I’m not in that category really.”

Mr Ponting said, while he had seen suggestion rates of coronavirus infection could pick up again he thought a localised lockdown as has happened in Greater Manchester and Leicester, was unlikely in Norfolk.

Derek Browne, 77, retired from Tuckswood, in Norwich, said he hoped a coronavirus vaccine was developed soon. Picture: StaffDerek Browne, 77, retired from Tuckswood, in Norwich, said he hoped a coronavirus vaccine was developed soon. Picture: Staff

He said: “I don’t see it happening here, it’s within possibility but throughout we have had fairly low figures and walking around today most people are respecting it.”

Steve and Dana White, both 46, from Bradwell, said they were concerned by the news of the localised lockdown in the North of England, they said: “It’s a bit scary but necessary. It’s a bit of a shock, I do think it could happen anywhere.”

The couple said they were happy to wear masks in shops: “I don’t think masks have been a problem, it’s just remembering one. [You have to remember] your phone, your keys, your mask.

“Not everybody is being respectful, and for [restrictions] to work everybody has to do their bit. I know some people have reasons they can’t wear a mask but some people are being half hearted.”

Gary Ponting, 41, a carpenter and joiner from Laxfield, called on people to be respectful when it came to following coronavirus restrictions. Picture: StaffGary Ponting, 41, a carpenter and joiner from Laxfield, called on people to be respectful when it came to following coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Staff

Derek Browne, 77, from Tuckswood in Norwich, said he was feeling “alright’ and not too worried as lockdown restrictions were eased but life is was not “normal”.

He said: “It’s not normal, life is not normal. I don’t know [when things will change] you can just hope that’s going to get abetter.

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“Let’s hope that they come up with a vaccine.”

Steve and Dana White, both 46 and from Bradwell, said the thought the news of a localised lockdown in the North of England was concerning. Picture; StaffSteve and Dana White, both 46 and from Bradwell, said the thought the news of a localised lockdown in the North of England was concerning. Picture; Staff

Meanwhile as temperatures soared, and families flocked to the coast to hit the sun-drenched sands, there were some concerns among the latest lockdown developments.

But as visitors to the town centres and beaches continue to follow the social distancing guidelines, there were no thoughts that a localised lockdown could be introduced in Waveney.

Business owner Andy Ling, from Lowestoft, said: “You have to move with the rules and regulations and change.

“People are more aware of the situation but I think because of where we are, being in quite a remote location, I think we will be fine.

“I don’t think it will affect us too much, certainly not immediately, although that may be different from September onwards.”

Kerry Arlow, of south Lowestoft, said: “I don’t think the new lockdown restrictions overnight up north come as any surprise.

“I think we have to expect that there will be spikes in cases in some areas.

“Current figures in the local area lead me to believe, at this time, we are not likely to see further restrictions here.

“When I’ve been out and about over recent days most people seem to be keeping their distance.”

Mrs Arlow added: “Whilst some members of our family feel happy and safe going out, others feel some anxiety.”

Pete Woodward, owner of Beaches And Cream - which has shops in Lowestoft, Southwold and a new store in Great Yarmouth - said: “Everyone is adhering to the rules as much as they can and we have not had any real issues.”


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