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Praise from police chief for ‘sensible’ social distancing in Norfolk over Bank Holiday weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:42 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:23 26 May 2020

Chief Constable Simon Bailey. Photo : Steve Adams

Chief Constable Simon Bailey. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

People have been praised by Norfolk’s police chief for adhering to social distancing rules when they headed out over the bank holiday weekend.

Social distancing signs at Southwold. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSocial distancing signs at Southwold. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norfolk police’s chief constable Simon Bailey said that parts of Norfolk were “very busy”, as hot weather and the easing of some lockdown restrictions led to people going out.

He said areas such as Hunstanton, Brancaster and Horstead Mill had seen a large number of visitors, but people had been sensible about sticking to guidelines over social distancing.

He said places such as Blakeney, Cromer, Mundesley, Sea Palling, Stiffkey and Wells had been “moderately busy”.

He said: “It has been very busy, but we have not had any issues around people not socially distancing, which has been positive.

Ice creams at Southwold beach as the spring bank holiday weekend weather is overcast and windy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYIce creams at Southwold beach as the spring bank holiday weekend weather is overcast and windy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It seems that people have sensibly adhered to the rules around social distancing. Officers have been engaging with people, but we have not had to break up any large congregations.”

Mr Bailey said that there had been large queues of people buying chips in Cromer, but that he was pleased that they had been socially distancing while waiting to order and collect their food.

The easing of lockdown restrictions has meant people are able to drive to take part in exercise, which had prompted pleas for people not to swamp the Norfolk coast.

That plea had been made in an attempt to head off situations where people going to the same spots could spread coronavirus.

A cyclist enjoys an ice cream at Gorleston beach. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA cyclist enjoys an ice cream at Gorleston beach. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Norfolk Resilience Forum (NRF), made up of organisations including councils, the blue light services and the NHS, are reminding people to stay away from crowded places, such as the coast, and to maintain social distancing.

Tom McCabe chair of the NRF strategic co-ordination group and head of paid service at Norfolk County Council, had said people should consider enjoying outside space near their homes, rather than “jumping in your car and heading to the Norfolk coast and other popular spots.”

The Norfolk Resilience Forum recently launched its Protect Norfolk campaign to encourage people to keep heeding advice despite the lockdown easing.

Last weekend - the first since the lockdown restrictions were slightly eased, saw daytrippers accused of being ‘selfish’ by staff at Waxham Sands Holiday Park.


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