Norwich shops reopen as country-wide restrictions on non-essential businesses ease

Non-essential businesses in Norwich have begun to reopen in line with the nationwide easing of restrictions. After nearly three months of lockdown, businesses including clothes, electronics, and phone retailers have started to open again.

Shops that do reopen have to have clear signs showing they are following the government’s COVID-19 guidelines. Thus, stores must limit customer numbers to allow for social distancing, increase the frequency at which stores are cleaned, and might implement a one-way system. Some may also choose to have more restrictions in place, like mandatory wearing of face coverings.

The government’s current advice is that wearing a face-covering is not compulsory but recommended in indoor spaces when social distancing is less possible, and since 15th June face coverings have been required for all users of public transport.

The relaxed coronavirus restrictions also apply to several other non-essential businesses and organisations. Places of worship will be able to open for private prayer but will not be allowed to offer large gatherings or services such as weddings just yet.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement that he was “very optimistic” about shops reopening safely. He went on to say, “I think people should shop, shop with confidence, but they should, of course, observe the rules on social distancing and do it safely as well.”

Hairdressers, pubs, restaurants, and cinemas will not open until 4th July at the earliest and will have to demonstrate how they will upkeep social distancing measures if they are to do so. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, spoke about the plans to further ease lockdown restrictions, saying:
“NHS test and trace is working well. There are over 85,000 people currently isolating because NHS test and trace has identified them and asked them to stay at home because they’re at higher risk.

“The more effective we can be on the targeted approach, whether it’s the clusters and the outbreaks I talked about, or whether it’s individuals being asked to isolate because of NHS test and trace, the more effective that side is, the more we’re able to release the national measures.”

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Henry Webb

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May 2022
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