‘I wouldn’t call this a lockdown’: Hundreds bemused by second Covid clampdown
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
Hundreds of people across Norfolk have expressed their bemusement at new coronavirus restrictions which they say are a lockdown in name only.
On November 5, the UK entered a second lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus in the community and to ease pressure on the NHS.
Announcing the measures Boris Johnson told the country there would be “some differences compared to March”, including that schools and universities would be stay open as would work-places where people could not work from home.
Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues would be forced to close but click and collect services could continue.
Pubs, bars and restaurants would be closed except for takeaway and delivery services.
But four days into the second lockdown, hundreds of people across Norfolk have said numerous loop-holes and less stringent rules mean the restrictions do not equate to a lockdown.
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When we asked people on our EDP and Evening News Facebook pages for their opinion on the new rules and if the second lockdown felt different from the first the overwhelming majority of more than 400 people who responded said yes, with many asking “what lockdown?”.
People said the restrictions “were a joke”, “were a lockdown on luxury only” and “a bit pathetic”.
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Andy Lloyd said: “This is not a lockdown, all they have done is taken away anything that’s deemed fun. Everything is still open and loads of people about.”
Jayne Osbourne said she had seen “more traffic on the roads since Thursday and people are carrying on as if nothing is happening”.
Shaun Spooner said: “This isn’t a lockdown at all. All it’s doing is penalising pubs, hairdressers etc. What’s the difference in going shopping or going to have your haircut? There isn’t any at all.”
Tim Roberts added: “This lockdown is a joke - compared to the spring it’s just about business as normal except let’s close pubs and restaurants.”
The House of Commons voted by 516 to 38 to approve the second nationwide lockdown, with every Norfolk MP backing the government.
Last week, the information made available to them by NHS bosses prior to the vote was released. It included graphs which showed projections for the potential trajectory of hospital admissions over the next six weeks.
The data drew on multiple academic models and the data from the region’s hospitals in the weeks up to October 26.
The MPs were told that there had been 6,385 coronavirus cases in the East of England in the seven days up to Monday, November 2, with the region’s Covid-19 rate at 102.4 per 100,000 of the population.
At a press conference on the first day of the new lockdown, Dr Louise Smith, public health director for Norfolk, said the modelling projected that, without the lockdown, the number of people admitted to the region’s hospitals in the second wave of Covid-19 could have been higher than the first wave’s peak.
But when giving their opinion of the reality of the second lockdown people said they felt it was not being observed.
Olivia Taylor said: “Everyone is still out! What’s the point in a lockdown? Should of done it [sic] ages ago and closed everywhere apart from essential shops ie supermarkets.”
Kerry McLean said she felt it was very different to March’s lockdown: “So much is open and people are out and about like normal. This is not a lockdown and I have to wonder if it will do any good at all?”
Others pointed to crucial differences such as schools staying open as being the main difference. Kirsten Louise said: “For me with schools being open does not feel like the first one at all. Still able to shop in the many shops that are open and luckily I’m still able to work this time.
“I wouldn’t call this a lockdown.”
Laura Jayne Hewitt said: “No one is taking the slightest bit of notice! Most of the shops still open, loads of families still gathering at the park after school, definitely doesn’t feel like a lockdown.”