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Great Yarmouth town centre deserted as residents heed lockdown advice

PUBLISHED: 11:32 28 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:41 28 March 2020

Great Yarmouth's town centre was 'very quiet' for a Saturday this morning. PHOTO: Anthony Carroll

Great Yarmouth's town centre was 'very quiet' for a Saturday this morning. PHOTO: Anthony Carroll

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Great Yarmouth’s town centre was much quieter than usual this Saturday morning as residents seemed to heed the government’s strict lockdown advice.

Great Yarmouth town centre during lockdown last weekend. Picture: Tony CarrollGreat Yarmouth town centre during lockdown last weekend. Picture: Tony Carroll

Small queues did form outside some stores - with WHSmith, Savers, Boots and Poundland operating a one-in-one-out policy for those that did make the journey into town.

At Savers, screens had been installed to protect till staff.

Meanwhile in Poundstretcher, there were signs asking people to observe distance - but nobody on the door enforcing numbers.

Several market stalls were also open and serving customers, and some corner shops down St Peter’s Road were also restricting numbers with small spaced-out queues trailing up the road.

Only a few market stalls were in operation. PHOTO: Liz CoatesOnly a few market stalls were in operation. PHOTO: Liz Coates

The seaside town’s Sainsburys store had no signs of queues and was not overly busy, with staff monitoring the numbers of people entering the supermarket.

A number of people were wearing facemasks, and some had improvised with their own DIY versions using scarves, or pulling up jumpers around their mouths.

According to a resident, the seafront was “totally deserted” - peopled only by the odd jogger.

She said: “There were a couple of families milling around the Waterways, and a few children whizzing around on scooters.”

Signs outside of shops warned people to respect social distancing requirements. PHOTO: Liz CoatesSigns outside of shops warned people to respect social distancing requirements. PHOTO: Liz Coates

The downturn in weekend footfall comes as the Prime Minister announced unprecedented “lockdown” measures on Monday, March 23.

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Citizens have been told to “stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus”, only leaving the house to shop for basic necessities, medical supplies and one form of exercise a day.

As of Friday, March 27, there were 70 confirmed cases of the virus in the county, though this number is likely to be much higher.

The town centre was very quiet for a Saturday. PHOTO: Liz CoatesThe town centre was very quiet for a Saturday. PHOTO: Liz Coates

Norfolk has now had five deaths associated with the virus and expects a “surge” in hospitalisation of affected patients.


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