'Fantastic' - excitement from businesses ahead of May 17 changes
- Credit: Nick Butcher
There is a feeling of optimism and positivity in the air as businesses across east Suffolk and Waveney react to the news of more lockdown easing from May 17.
From May 17, the indoor reopening of hospitality businesses and tourist attractions will begin, with pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, hotels and indoor attractions across Norfolk and Suffolk preparing to fully reopen.
Cinemas across England can reopen again from Monday and for the director of East Coast Cinema, Michael Hansell, the news is most welcome.
He said: "It feels fantastic that we have now been given the go-ahead.
"While staff will be coming back on a gradual basis we are all very excited.
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"We have been keeping in contact with our customers via social media and they are all very keen to get back."
The cinema has permanently removed some seating resulting in a 60 per cent reduction in capacity.
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This permanent change will mean customers will get more legroom.
Mr Hansell said: "People don't want to be squashed together and although we will be operating reduced capacity until June 21, the removal of some seating will be permanent.
"We are frustrated with the financial hit as a result of the pandemic but we just can't wait to welcome everybody back."
Twyfords Cafe in Beccles has been open for customers to sit in the garden but a supervisor at the business said May 17 is another step in the right direction.
She said: "We are excited to welcome back customers for the full reopening on Monday.
"Our garden has been open but it will be nice just to welcome people back inside again."
From Monday pubs will also be able to operate indoors and for the landlady of the Three Horseshoes in North Cove, Sheila Wells, this will help with the overall workload staff members take on.
She said: "We are really pleased about this final step towards normality because outdoor table service is very hard to operate.
"We will be operating under Covid safe measures indoors.
"Pubs offer a unique experience where people interact with one another and the staff.
"The sooner this can happen and things go back to normal the better."