'Headless chickens': City bosses' despair as government confirms plan B

Samia King, owner of Moorish Falafel Bar. Picture: Neil Perry

Samia King, owner of Moorish Falafel Bar. Picture: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

This time last year bosses across the city were wringing their hands as they were placed into tiered restrictions. 

And this December - the most important trading period for many - they are once again facing new rules. 

Boris Johnson announced Plan B yesterday evening, urging people to work from home "if they can" as of Monday.

Other measures will include vaccine passports at nightclubs and venues with more than 500 people.

Face coverings will also be “further extended” to “most public indoor venues” including theatres and cinemas.

Carl Stock from Two Magpies bakery in Timberhill said that last year the business was preparing itself for the Christmas lockdown, but similar nervousness lingers in 2021: “There was lots of uncertainty around what would happen but we worked hard to protect our people and our customers.

People enjoying lunch at Two Magpies Bakery on Norwich's Timberhill.

The Two Magpies Bakery in Timberhill - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

“The latest revelations have been disappointing to say the least. It's difficult because it doesn't give us confidence in the government."

He was speaking after footage emerged showed government staff joking about a party apparently held while the rest of the country was in partial lockdown.

Carl added: "Now plan B is confirmed we will again do what needs to be done in order to protect people.” 

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Samia King who runs Moorish Falafel Bar in the Norwich Lanes and the Golden Triangle is also battening down the hatches against another turbulent festive period. 

She said: “Around this time last year we were only offering takeaway so it really affected business."

Moorish Falafel Bar, Lower Goat Lane, Norwich. Picture: Neil Perry

Moorish Falafel Bar, Lower Goat Lane, Norwich. Picture: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

With many Christmas party bookings now being cancelled at the venue, financial concerns for the business are once again stacking up.

She said: “It's puts a lot of fear into me because this time they haven’t talked about what support they are going to give to businesses.  

“Last time we had furlough and grants, none of that is currently in place. It’s terrifying because I don’t know what is going to happen.” 

new Moorish Park Lane site in the Golden Triangle

Moorish Park Lane has opened at the former Old Cobblers juice bar between Park Lane and Avenue Road - Credit: Samia King

On the alleged Christmas party scandal, she added: "Finding out the government who made the rules are making up their own rules makes us lose faith.  

“But if I'm honest none of it really surprises me. We are all at a loss now, I don’t know what we are supposed to do.  

She added: “I feel like we're headless chickens with no leadership. I just feel so let down and sad.”