'We will have to work at it' - mixed reaction as Great Yarmouth in tier 2

Carl Smith Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, says the challenge now is to work the town out of Tier 2 into Tier 1 by December 16. - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth's move into Tier 2 lockdown restrictions along with the rest of Norfolk has been tagged as "disappointing" after a huge effort to bring infection rates down.

Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the focus was now on working together to further reduce the number of cases ahead of a review on December 16.

Mr Smith lead a huge intervention before the second lockdown to control rising infection rates in the town.

Cases peaked at 238.58 per 100,000 on November 11 but had dropped to 104.7 by November 21.

He said: "It is disappointing for all the hard work we have put in.

"We will work with our residents and businesses to make sure we continue to support them.

"What we are going to have to do is work at it for the review on December 16 to make sure we can come back down to Tier 1."

Under Tier 2  no mixing of households indoors aside from support bubbles will be allowed, with a maximum gathering of six permitted outdoors.

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Pubs and bars will remain closed unless operating as restaurants, with alcohol only served as part of a "substantial meal" until 10pm, before venues must close at 11pm.

All retail, leisure and personal care services are able to reopen.

Meanwhile Peter Jay at the town's Hippodrome Circus said he was "over the moon".

Impresario Peter Jay owner of Hippodrome Circus

Peter Jay is delighted the Christmas spectacular at the Hippodrome in Great Yarmouth can go ahead when the town moves into Tier 2 restrictions on December 2. - Credit: Nick Warner

Being in Tier 2 meant the show could go on at the venue, albeit amid strict guidelines of the type they worked to over the summer.

He said: "We thought we would probably be okay here in Norfolk but it is nice to hear it.

"Christmas is saved. We were waiting for Santa to come down and see us and he has.

"We are only operating on 30pc and we will be lucky if we break even but it keeps us going."

However, Kevin Huggins, chairman of the Gorleston Trader's Association said although small traders could re-open there was little to celebrate.

He said many people were wary of making too many trips out and were just doing a single shop at the big supermarkets.

It meant independents had all the costs of opening, but with an income that was probably at least 50pc down.

"People won't come out because they do not feel safe to come out," he said, adding that the only hope of recovery came with the vaccine.

Ricky Malt, landlord at The Lion at Thurne, said he was still working out what to do but was considering a weekend-only opening while continuing the delivery service.

Ricky Malt, landlord at The Lion, in Thurne

Ricky Malt, landlord at The Lion at Thurne says in some ways being in Tier 2 is worse than being in Tier 3. - Credit: Ricky Malt

"I feel bad if I try and encourage people to come to the pub," he said.

"It is not our busiest time of year so we are not as badly hit as some, but I really feel for the city centre pubs."

Great Yarmouth's Arc Cinema moved to welcome the announcement.

Chain owner Brian Gilligan said: "We’re delighted to be able to welcome our customers back now that we are now permitted to reopen The Arc Cinema in Great Yarmouth.

"We’re really excited to have the first blockbuster release in a long time in Wonder Woman 1984 on December 16.

"In addition we have a range of fantastic Christmas titles to cheer everybody up and get us all in the festive spirit.

"Our rigorous safety measures remain in place, so all of our customers can relax and enjoy a well deserved treat."

Under Tier 2 people are encouraged to reduce the number of journeys they make and to avoid travelling into Tier 3 areas, except for reasons of education or work.

Overnight stays will only be permitted for those in the same household or support bubble and accommodation can open.

Places of worship can reopen, but people must not interact with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

Fifteen guests will be allowed at weddings and civil partnerships, increasing to 30 for funerals.

Classes and organised sport can take place outdoors but not indoors if there is any interaction between two different households.

Large events including sport and live performances will be open to the public but limited to 50% capacity or 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors.