‘Christmas has had it’ - What do people in Norwich think about new coronavirus rules?

PUBLISHED: 11:34 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:32 23 September 2020

Albert White, 76, from Woodcock Close in Norwich. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Albert White, 76, from Woodcock Close in Norwich. Picture: Ruth Lawes


People in Norwich have shared conflicting views over new restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus infections.

Michael Tralle, 59, and Trevor Lee, 50. Picture: Ruth LawesMichael Tralle, 59, and Trevor Lee, 50. Picture: Ruth Lawes

On Tuesday, prime minister Boris Johnson announced a series of measures which could last for six months amid a surge in the number of people contracting Covid-19 across the country.

They included a 10pm curfew for pubs, clubs and restaurants, a maximum of 15 guests at weddings and compulsory face coverings for retail staff.

Maya Sanger, 19, Mollie Battersby, 18, Ellie Hunter, 19 and Alex Goulden, 18. Picture: Ruth LawesMaya Sanger, 19, Mollie Battersby, 18, Ellie Hunter, 19 and Alex Goulden, 18. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Albert White, 76, from Woodcock Close in Norwich, believes the restrictions will be in place for more than six months.

He said: “I think Christmas has had it now. But I think they are a good thing. Boris Johnson had to do these restrictions.

“Although he does change his mind a lot, like now people are being told to work from home, but I suppose a prime minister can do that.”

Friends Maya Sanger, 19, from Bournemouth, Mollie Battersby, 18, from Essex, Ellie Hunter, 19, from Reading, and Alex Goulden, 18 from Essex, all supported the new restrictions - except from the pub curfew.

They believe shutting pubs early “could even make things worse”.

Miss Sanger said: “As soon as pubs shut, people will just spill out on the street and find other places to drink. Whether that be in flats or wherever. This means that people won’t be monitored, like they are in pubs.”

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The group, who are all first year students at the University of East Anglia, also did not understand the need to wear a face covering in restaurants unless you are at a table with food or drink.

“Where is the logic? I would be happy if someone could explain it.” Miss Hunter said. “You’re at a restaurant anyway and will be breathing the air when you eat, so I don’t see how that would help protect people.”

They added the government had sent out mixed messages after introducing these restrictions the month after the Eat Out To Help Out scheme.

“That was completely stupid and it happened way too early in the pandemic.” Miss Hunter said, “It’s odd that throughout August we were being actively encouraged to go out and now we are being told the opposite.”

Michael Tralle, 59, and Trevor Lee, 50, both from Dereham, did not believe the new curbs went far enough and called for a second lockdown.

Mr Tralle said: “I think we should lockdown totally for at least two weeks to sort it all out. Especially the pubs. I think they should be completely shut rather than close at 10pm at the very least.”

For Jill Watson, a veterinary nurse from Norwich, the new measures came as no surprise, although she did not think they were drastically different.

The 56-year-old said: “The restriction are nothing really new. In fact, I’d always wondered why shop staff hadn’t always had to wear face coverings in the first place.

“I think the restrictions are enough and sensible, and the same applies for having them in place for potentially six months.

“The reality is things won’t be fine soon so this is needed.”

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