What's reopening in Dereham from May 17?

Five Norfolk towns are set to see hundreds of thousands of pounds invested to plan their futures. Ph

Five Norfolk towns are set to see hundreds of thousands of pounds invested to plan their futures. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2008

It's just one and a half weeks until pubs and restaurants start allowing people to sit indoors, theatres and cinemas reopening, and hotels let visitors stay.

Following the successful reopening of hairdressers, pub gardens, and non-essential shops during April, Step 3 of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown is expected to come into place from Monday, May 17.

The main change is that indoor hospitality will be allowed, meaning pubs will be able to offer indoor dining and drinking again, which will be a huge relief to both landlords and customers who have endured chilly outdoor visits. 

What does Step 3 mean?

Dereham Town Centre was full of life on April 12

Many businesses will be able to reopen for the first time this year on May 17. - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

As long as the number of coronavirus cases stays low, Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown is scheduled to take effect from Monday, May 17.

Alongside indoor drinking and dining being allowed for pubs and restaurants, entertainment venues can open too, including cinemas and theatres. New rules will be in place for different sizes of venues.

Normal outdoor events can open for up to 4,000 people or 50pc of the venue capacity, whichever is smaller. 

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Indoor events can open for up to 1,000 people or 50pc capacity, again whichever is lower.

For film fans, Orion Cinema in Dereham has confirmed that they will open on May 17 after undergoing some major changes.

The cinema now boasts an online booking system that automatically socially distances guests once they book and a new Dolby 7.1 sound system 

Lee Allwood, director of Orion Cinemas since 2019 when they took over Hollywood Cinemas, said: "We're looking forward to inviting film fans back to the cinema on May 17 after being closed since December.

"We have lots of new films including Peter Rabbit 2 and Nomadland."

The Hollywood Cinema branch in Dereham has been bought by Orion Cinema. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

The Hollywood Cinema branch in Dereham, which has now been taken over by Orion Cinemas - Credit: Archant

Theatres in Norfolk will be welcoming back audiences, with Sheringham Little Theatre staging shows and film screenings from May 22.

Norfolk’s tourist industry will also be given a much-needed boost as hotels and other types of accommodation can open to guests, previously only self-catering accommodation with no shared facilities could open.

When can pubs open indoors?

Indoor areas of hospitality venues such as pubs, cafés, and restaurants will reopen from Step 3.

Hospitality businesses in Dereham will be able to open indoors from May 17, albeit with some restrictions still in place. 

After eating and drinking al fresco since Step 2 of the lockdown easing on April 12, there will no longer be any need to check the weather forecast every time you head to the pub or restaurant from May 17.

Pubs can welcome back customers for a pint inside, rather than only offering outdoor service, and indoor dining will also resume across the hospitality sector.

This means pubs such as The Gemini, The Red Lion and The Bull and bars such as The Metro and DC's Bar will finally be able to open once again.

Former British Airways Cabin Crew, Abbi King, becomes new manager of The Gemini in Dereham

Former British Airways Cabin Crew, Abbi King, becomes new manager of The Gemini in Dereham - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

Like outdoors, table service will still be required and most pubs but they will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks, nor will there be a curfew. However, customers will have to order, eat and drink while seated. 

What indoor attractions can open at Step 3?

Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions will be allowed to reopen from Step 3, no earlier than May 17. According to Cabinet Office guidance, as well as cinemas and theatres this will include: 

David R Mays and Alex Chenery, from Level Up in Dereham, have applied for a license to serve alcohol

David R Mays and Alex Chenery, from Level Up in Dereham - Credit: Archant

  • Concert halls - Such as the memorial hall on Norwich Road.
  • Amusement arcades and adult gaming centres - Level Up Gaming Cafe on High Street will be able to open from May 17.
  • Bingo halls
  • Casinos 
  • Bowling alleys - Strikes in Dereham will all open on May 17
  • Snooker and pool halls

Indoor reopenings at venues already allowed to open outdoor

Stuart Robinson, steam train driver and Ricky Plummer, fireman, on Mid-Norfolk Railway  

Stuart Robinson, steam train driver and Ricky Plummer, fireman, on Mid-Norfolk Railway - Credit: Archant

  • Museums and galleries - Norfolk museums including the Mid-Norfolk Railway museum will be able to reopen on May 17.
  • Adventure playgrounds and activities 
  • Skating rinks 
  • Games and recreation venues, including laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing and recreational driving facilities - 
  • Trampolining parks 
  • Water and aqua parks 
  • Theme parks and film studios
  • Zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions
  • Botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes 
  • Sculpture parks 
  • Stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites - Holkham Hall will be reopening its indoor spaces from May 17. Blickling Hall is also expected to reopen on May 17 following repairs to its historic ceiling. Sandringham House is taking bookings for visitors from May 29.

What else can open from May 17 when lockdown eases? 

Conference centres and exhibition halls will also be able to open, and private dining and banqueting events, subject to the capacity limits set out by the government. 

The remaining holiday accommodation, including hotels will be able to reopen, as will hostels and B&Bs.

Saunas and steam rooms will be allowed to open once again. Indoor adult team sports and group exercise classes at gyms will return indoors.

Other events and activities that are able to commence from Step 3 (no earlier than May 17) include: 

  • Business functions such as conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, charity auctions, and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality 
  • Air shows, historical/battle reenactments, live animal performances such as falconry displays at events, and non-elite and professional sporting events. 

How many people can attend events?

The signs are good for Dereham Town. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Town FC's ground at Aldiss Park - Credit: Ian Burt

Though indoor events will be permitted to restart, attendances will be restricted. At Step 3 it will be subject to: 1,000 people or 50pc of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, for indoor events.

For outdoor events 4,000 people or 50pc of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower.

For outdoor events taking place in venues with seated capacity of over 16,000, event organisers may apply a 25pc capacity cap, up to a maximum of 10,000 seated people.

This means fans will be able to return to Dereham Town's ground to watch The Magpies play once again.

What children’s activities can open from May 17?

Families will be delighted to know indoor children's activities, such as soft play areas, should be open again from May 17.

Places that can open include play areas, including soft play centres and inflatable parks.

Planet Zoom, which is at Strikes in Dereham will be able to reopen from May 17.

How many households can mix from May 17? 

As part of Step 3, and no earlier than May 17, the government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible. 

This means that most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal for now. 

Indoors, the 'Rule of 6' or two households will apply but the government is keeping this under review

How many people can attend my wedding from May 17? 

As part of the Step 3 rules, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted for up to 30 people in Covid-19 secure venues that are allowed to open. This is up from the current number of 15 people.  

The limit will also apply to other types of significant life events, including bar mitzvahs and christenings. 

This will be welcome news for popular wedding venues such as Hockering House, Hunters Hall and Swanton Morley House.

Government guidance says receptions can also go ahead with up to 30 people in a Covid-19 secure indoor venue or outdoors including private gardens. Further details on receptions at this step will be updated by the government.  

At Step 4, the government hopes to remove all limits on weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions. This will be subject to the results of the Scientific Events Research programme. 

How many can attend a funeral? 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government said that the legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of the next stage of lockdown easing, expected on May 17.

Instead the capacity will be determined by how many people venues, such as places of worship or funeral homes, can safely accommodate while maintaining social distancing, the department added.

This includes both indoor and outdoor venues and all organisers must continue to be Covid-secure and follow social distancing rules, it said.

While venue capacities will vary, many will allow "significantly" more than 30 people to attend, the MHCLG said.

When is Step 4?

The fourth step of the government's lockdown easing roadmap is scheduled for no earlier than Monday, June 21. 

In Step 4 – five weeks after Step 3 – the government hopes to reopen remaining venues, such as nightclubs - including the full reopening of Metro and DC's.

It also hopes to lift the restrictions on social contact and large events that apply in Step 3, enabling gigs, festivals, and theatre performances to attract crowds above the Step 3 capacity restrictions. 

This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and a review of social distancing measures. 

Officials will also look to relax Covid-secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews.