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‘It’s a bit scary’ - Concerns in Norwich over easing of coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:16 16 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:02 17 May 2020

Mark Humphries (left) and Matthew Chambers in Norwich city centre on Satirday, May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Mark Humphries (left) and Matthew Chambers in Norwich city centre on Satirday, May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Sophie Wyllie

Mixed messages are being given out by the government on the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, according to people across Norwich.

Paula Taylor, owner of the Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market serving Manon Drogz. Picture: Sophie WylliePaula Taylor, owner of the Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market serving Manon Drogz. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

On the first weekend after Boris Johnson’s stay alert announcement some people in the city centre, Chapelfield Gardens and Waterloo Park believed these areas were busier than in previous weeks.

Gentleman's Walk in Norwich at lunchtime on Saturday, May 16. Picture: Sophie WyllieGentleman's Walk in Norwich at lunchtime on Saturday, May 16. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

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Paula Taylor, owner of the Cheeseman stall on Norwich Market, said: “There seems to be more people walking about but I think there are some people who don’t think social distancing rules apply. It is a bit scary. Our customers have been brilliant with social distancing. I think we will get a second wave of coronavirus cases. You give the people a bit of freedom and they want more.”

Red Lion Street in Norwich on Saturday, May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus  lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie WyllieRed Lion Street in Norwich on Saturday, May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Customer and teacher Manon Drogz, 66, who usually works in London but moved to Norwich before lockdown to look after her husband, said: “I don’t want to go back to London. I feel safe here in Norwich. The rules over the easing of the restrictions are a massive contradiction. I want it to be done more intelligently.”

Davide Lombardi, 38, with his two-year-old son Alessandro in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. Picture: Sophie WyllieDavide Lombardi, 38, with his two-year-old son Alessandro in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Matthew Chambers, 54, and his husband Mark Humphries, 56, who live on the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, said: “The city is getting busier. There is nowhere for people to go, they seem to gravitate towards parks. It seems to be the meeting place for idiots. The relaxation of lockdown is utter chaos, contradictory and sends out mixed messages. The government has abdicated responsibilty to the public.”

Leanne Jewell with her two-year-old daighter Ella Goreham-Jewell in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. Picture: Sophie WyllieLeanne Jewell with her two-year-old daighter Ella Goreham-Jewell in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Davide Lombardi, 38, from Old Barley Market in Norwich, who was in Chapelfield Gardens with his two-year-old son, said the park was a lot busier on Saturday, compared with previous weeks.

Raymond Sadd on his daily exercise in Waterloo Park, Norwich, a week after coronavirus restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie WyllieRaymond Sadd on his daily exercise in Waterloo Park, Norwich, a week after coronavirus restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

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He said: “It is time to unlock something but we need to be cautious. My concern is more people using the park benches.”

People enjoying Waterloo Park in Nowich on Saturday, May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie WylliePeople enjoying Waterloo Park in Nowich on Saturday, May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Furloughed waitress, Leanne Jewell, 42, from Newmarket Street, who was in the park with her two-year-old daughter, said: “The city is getting a bit busier but people are still being cautious. Norwich has taken well to the restrictions. We are lucky we have the space.”

A couple of cyclists in Waterloo Park, Norwich, on May 16, 2020. Picture: Sophie WyllieA couple of cyclists in Waterloo Park, Norwich, on May 16, 2020. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

Raymond Sadd, an office home worker, who was cycling in Waterloo Park, said: “There are not many more people here today compared with normal. Lockdown needs to be eased slowly. Boris Johnson’s announcement was a bit wishy-washy.”

Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich on May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus lockdown restirctions were eased. Picture: Sophie WyllieChapelfield Gardens in Norwich on May 16, 2020, a week after coronavirus lockdown restirctions were eased. Picture: Sophie Wyllie

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