Keep calm and carry on - venues react to Plan B

jack jay

Jack Jay said he hopes the new measures will prevent the possibility of a further lockdown. - Credit:

Venues across Great Yarmouth said they remain confident of customer safety and still expect a good Christmas period despite the introduction of new restrictions.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson confirmed the country will go ahead with the government's Plan B for Covid this winter.

Restrictions include vaccine passports for entry to venues with more than 500 people that are unseated and face coverings will be "further extended" to "most public indoor venues" including theatres and cinemas. People have also been advised to work from home.

The Hippodrome has not received any funding from the government's culture recovery fund.

The Hippodrome's Christmas Spectacular will still go ahead on Saturday. - Credit: James Bass

Jack Jay, director of the Hippodrome, said he hoped the restrictions will help "nip in the bud" any threat of a future lockdown.

Currently, the Christmas Spectacular is still going ahead in the 750 seater venue.

The Ocean Room nightclub in Gorleston, now run in partnership between Kelly Evans and her cousin Ben

The Ocean Room has been operating at 50pc capacity since the restrictions were lifted in July. - Credit: Archant

Elsewhere, the Ocean Room - with space for 1100 people - is also going ahead with its events, but the venue will not be at capacity.

Co-director Kelly Evans said that even after restrictions were lifted in July the venue had stuck with 50pc capacity.

Mrs Evans said: “We’ve kept a lot of our procedures in place.

“We have kept all our events at 50 percent capacity even after restrictions were lifted. 

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“Going forward, I don’t think we will be going over 500 people.

"We are going to keep it under that mark, so hopefully everyone will still feel comfortable."

Mrs Evans said the Ocean Room has an "air monitoring system" for ventilation, sanitising stations and table service with optional QR codes for orders.

“As a venue, I don’t feel we could do any more than what we’re currently doing," Mrs Evans added.

Debbie Thompson is theTheatre director for St Georges theatre, Yarmouth.Picture: Nick Butcher

Debbie Thompson said her team have been operating with caution throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so as the country moves into Plan B. - Credit: Nick Butcher

At St George's Theatre, director Debbie Thompson said she felt lucky her team remained cautious.

“All our shows were socially distanced and we will continue that," Mrs Thompson said.

"We have been advising people to wear masks, so for us not much has changed. 

“We are very lucky at St George’s that it’s a huge space and ventilation is very easy. 

“We feel confident audiences can come and really be part of a lovely experience while keeping safe."

Gorleston Pavilion

Gorleston Pavilion has relaxed seating, meaning that there can be more distance between audience members. - Credit: Gorleston Pavilion Trust

Gorleston Pavilion Theatre 's charity trustee, Alex Youngs, said the situation wasn't ideal, "but we're used to it".

"The restriction for us at the moment is just to wear masks and we’ve been encouraging audiences to do that anyway.

"We’ve got enhanced cleaning and because we’re already asking our audiences to wear masks, nothing really has changed. 

“We’re saying to our audiences keep calm, let’s just wear masks and go about what we’re doing."