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Not going out: Anxiety prompts some to shun weekend reopenings

PUBLISHED: 07:33 04 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:33 04 July 2020

Despite the further easing of coronavirus restrictions some people will continue to avoid going out. Picture: Getty Images

Despite the further easing of coronavirus restrictions some people will continue to avoid going out. Picture: Getty Images

Archant

While some have been counting down the hours until the further easing of coronavirus restrictions, not everyone is going to be flocking to enjoy greater freedoms.

The Barn Restaurant at Terrington St John has installed dining pods to reassure diners over social distancing. Picture: Ian BurtThe Barn Restaurant at Terrington St John has installed dining pods to reassure diners over social distancing. Picture: Ian Burt

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cinemas are among businesses that have been given the green light by the government to open their doors to customers once again from Saturday.

But while they have not been able to enjoy dining out or a pint in the pub for over three months, some people are preferring to wait a little longer.

Anxiety over how social distancing measures will work and fears that there could be a weekend rush of crowds, particularly in pubs, have been cited by those who say they will be staying at home.

Landlords Christopher Brown and Cara Green with traffic light system installed for the loos inside The Aviator pub in Scultorpe. Picture: Sonya DuncanLandlords Christopher Brown and Cara Green with traffic light system installed for the loos inside The Aviator pub in Scultorpe. Picture: Sonya Duncan

MORE: ‘Scary but we’ve got to do it’ - How city shoppers feel about July 4 reopenings

Trevor Garside, 54, from Norwich, said he and his partner Linda Faulkner, 51, planned to wait until it was clearer how businesses would operate safely in practice.

He said: “I personally think it’s a bad idea to open it all at once at a weekend. I fear it’s going to be chaos, especially in city centre pubs.

“We did think of possibly going somewhere quieter out in the sticks, but we’ve decided to wait to see how it goes.

Wendy Howe (left) with friend Sue Lawrence at Waterloo Park after lockdown restrictions altered for peopel shielding. Picture: Brittany WoodmanWendy Howe (left) with friend Sue Lawrence at Waterloo Park after lockdown restrictions altered for peopel shielding. Picture: Brittany Woodman

“I think it’s good businesses are being allowed to restart but I think many people will not take the risk at first.”

Levels of anxiety in the UK have fallen as lockdown measures have begun to be lifted – but remain above the usual reported averages, according to an ongoing Covid-19 social study of over 90,000 adults by University College London.

During a discussion on our Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page, others who said they would be staying at home this weekend included Julie Frost.

She said: “It’s far too early to consider going to a pub or restaurant. Things will have to significantly improve before we will even contemplate this.”

Helen Dearden added: “We’re not desperate to go to a pub. There’s plenty online, plenty of deliveries, plenty on TV to carry on protecting ourselves at home.”

MORE: Which Norfolk pubs, restaurants, cafes will open on July 4

Melanie Clarke said: “Staying home too early to lift restrictions. They should have waited till the end of July. Already had a spike in Leicester, where will be next?”

Monday will also see the relaxation of guidance for people shielding who will be able to meet up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, for the first time.

Helen Manning, from Dereham, who has diabetes, said she would not be going out even though measures were eased.

She said: “I feel scared. I shall continue staying at home. I think we have to use a little bit of common sense.”

However Norwich woman Wendy Howe, from Norwich, who has severe asthma, hopes she will be able to grow her bubble and see more friends.

She said: “It will be so wonderful. I have worried about my mental health. I’m very excited to see somebody else.”


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