PM's roadmap out of lockdown could be 'real positive' for city

Norwich city centre during Coronavirus lockdown 31st March 2020. City Council building and Post Offi

Norwich city centre during the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020. - Credit: Archant

A road map out of the third coronavirus lockdown set out by the prime minister has been described as a “real positive” by business leaders in the city.

Boris Johnson said the reopening of schools and reuniting loved ones are among the top priorities as he revealed his road map out of lockdown in the House of Commons on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving his speech to Parliament, in in the House of Commons, London.

Prime minister Boris Johnson giving his speech to parliament, in in the House of Commons, London, about setting out the road map for easing coronavirus restrictions across England. Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire - Credit: House of Commons/PA Wire

Mr Johnson said pupils would return to the classroom on March 8 with shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality potentially reopening on April 12.

Pubs and restaurants - as well as cinemas, theatres and sports stadia - could open indoors from May 17, with all limits on social contact potentially being lifted by June 21.

Stefan Gurney, executive director at Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) described the announcement as being a “real positive”.


Executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) Stefan Gurney. Picture: Sonya Dunc

Executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) Stefan Gurney. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

He said: “I think what everyone needed was clarity in what the steps were for coming out.

“I know a lot of people from the business community will have hoped we had that clarity and we can now look forward to opening the city again.”

Mr Gurney said the fact we now had vaccines would also help everyone going forward.

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He said: “Last time we didn’t have a way of dealing with the virus so before (in previous lockdowns) we were trying to minimise the impact but with the vaccines in place the city can open with more confidence than it did before.”

Paul Kendrick, Norwich City Council cabinet member for resources as well as a councillor for Catton Grove, said: "One would welcome a lessening of lockdown over the next few weeks as long as it is to be data driven rather than date driven.

Paul Kendrick, Norwich city councillor. Pic: Archant Library.

Paul Kendrick, Norwich city councillor. Pic: Archant Library. - Credit: Archant

"We don't want a situation where we have to slam on the brakes and reverse, but we would all appreciate, when the time is right, a return to normalcy".

Clive Lewis, Norwich South MP, said he was "cautiously optimistic" but added: "we can't afford any more yo-yos".

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, spoke out in favour of rent unions. Photo: Neil Didsbu

Clive Lewis, the Labour MP for Norwich South, has sent a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock demanding urgent government action over the 'healthcare crisis' at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

He said: "I'm cautiously optimistic but we need to get this right because we can't get it wrong again."

Mr Lewis said he was being led by the science and while education was "clearly pivotal" to getting the economy up and running again was nevertheless concerned the return to school for pupils was not being staggered.

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