Covid-19 timeline part two: How Lowestoft responded to the pandemic

The Players Theatre in Lowestoft illuminated in red. Picture: Mick Howes

The Players Theatre in Lowestoft illuminated in red. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The coronavirus crisis dominated 2020.

A year on, here is the final part of a timeline looking at how Covid-19 affected the East Suffolk area and how communities rallied round to help - featuring stories that hit the headlines between July and December 2020.

July 2020

Adnams and other Lowestoft pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers reopen but social distancing must be maintained.

A Covid test centre was set up at WaterLane Leisure Centre while a network of COVID walk-in test centres are established throughout England.


You may also want to watch:


Waterlane Leisure Centre partially reopens along with other swimming pools, indoor gyms and sports facilities.

The Latitude Festival is cancelled.

Sanitising stations at the entrance to Pleasurewood Hills, Lowestoft. Photo: Sarah Burgess

Sanitising stations at the entrance to Pleasurewood Hills, Lowestoft. Photo: Sarah Burgess - Credit: Sarah Burgess

Most Read

Pleasurewood Hills theme park reopens with socially distance measures in force.

The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield illuminated in red. Picture: Mick Howes

The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield illuminated in red. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Theatres in Lowestoft illuminated in red to highlight the crisis facing the industry.

The Lowestoft Players poster says it all - The Magic of Live Theatre will return!

The Lowestoft Players poster says it all - The Magic of Live Theatre will return! Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

August 2020

A Level results at Lowestoft Sixth Form College were hailed as outstanding, while GCSE results from Lowestoft high schools were described as record breaking.

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft illuminated in red. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The Marina Theatre called on the community for help with a Survival appeal to raise £100,000 to deal with the impact of coronavirus, but later announced 11 staff members had been made redundant.

Lowestoft town centre during lockdown, with the Marina Theatre survival appeal poster. Picture: Mick

Lowestoft town centre during lockdown, with the Marina Theatre survival appeal poster. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Restaurants in Lowestoft joined the ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme offering discounted meals.

More than 72,000 diners signed up to be part of the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme.

More than 72,000 diners signed up to be part of the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme in the East of England. Photo: HMRC - Credit: HMRC

The bowling alley at Richardson’s Family Entertainment Centre finally reopened for the first time in months.

Local charity shops were overwhelmed with donations after lockdown clear-outs.

The Lowestoft and Southwold Christmas Lights switch-on events were cancelled due to safety concerns.

A beautician at Millie Rose hair and beauty salon in Lowestoft launched her own discount scheme called ‘Chill out to help out’.

September 2020

Pupils across Waveney started to return to their classrooms.

The popular CARLfest music festival returned but as a virtual Bank Holiday event.

The Christmas Pantomime at the Marina Theatre was postponed to 2021.

The Bell Inn in Carlton Colville. Picture: Mick Howes

The Bell Inn in Carlton Colville. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Moss and Co, which runs hospitality venues in the Lowestoft area, decided to continue with its own ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ meal discount scheme after it proved a hit with diners.

The PINK Orange charity - part of Access Community Trust - fed more than 10,000 children over the summer holidays.

Deliveries take place across Suffolk, with plans to move into Great Yarmouth this Christmas. PHOTO:

Pink Orange deliveries took place across Suffolk. PHOTO: Access Community Trust - Credit: Access Community Trust

Problems with getting coronavirus tests were reported by Waveney MP Peter Aldous as demand soared after children returned to school.

October 2020

A new simplified three-tier system of Covid restrictions was introduced following confusion over local rules.

Lowestoft and Beccles were added to the regional watch list after a "worrying" rise in coronavirus cases.

An overhead view of the current Bernard Matthews factory at Holton, near Halesworth airfield. Pictur

An overhead view of the Bernard Matthews factory at Holton, near Halesworth airfield. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

More than 70 cases of coronavirus were identified among Bernard Matthews staff living in Lowestoft, Suffolk and Norfolk who work at the poultry factory in Holton, Halesworth.

Stage scenery works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Proje

Stage scenery works carried out by Scenic Projects from last season. Picture: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects - Credit: Nick Rowe/Scenic Projects

The Marina Theatre and Scenic Projects were two of 21 organisations in Waveney, Norfolk and Suffolk to receive a Culture Recovery Grant to face the challenges of the pandemic.

Marina Theatre management were overwhelmed by the support they received ahead of reopening their auditorium for films and screenings.

November 2020

A second month-long lockdown for England began in order to prevent a Covid disaster for the NHS.

Lowestoft business leaders admitted that the latest lockdown restrictions were a devastating blow.

A quiet Lowestoft town centre during the lockdown.

A quiet Lowestoft town centre during the lockdown. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Community support and Facebook groups, helplines and ‘The Home But Not Alone’ service were activated once more.

Small businesses in Bridge Road, Oulton Broad are collaborating so that they can each be a pick up p

Small businesses in Bridge Road, Oulton Broad collaborated so that they can each be a pick up point for click and collect orders from each other’s shops. Picture: The Gift Shop - Credit: The Gift Shop

Non food shops in Oulton Broad joined forces to provide online and ‘click and collect’ services.

The James Paget University Hospital pleaded with visitors to only wear surgical masks and no other forms of face covering when at the hospital.

December 2020

As the four-week lockdown ended, gyms and non-essential shops reopened, while collective worship and weddings were allowed again.

Most of the country including Lowestoft and all of the east of England was put into the higher tier 2, with Lowestoft businesses hoping for a festive rush.

Christmas lights installed at The Triangle in north Lowestoft, as businesses hoped for a festive boost.

Christmas lights installed at The Triangle in north Lowestoft, as businesses hoped for a festive boost. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Care homes in Waveney welcomed the roll out of rapid coronavirus testing kits allowing more visitors to see their loved one.

Lowestoft restaurant business Moss and Co. introduced the ‘Botched Egg’.

As the James Paget University Hospital received supplies of the Covid vaccine, local people in their 80s were among the first to have the jab.

Staff from the James Paget Hotel getting the COVID-19 vaccination ready to administer. Picture: Dani

Staff from the James Paget Hotel getting the COVID-19 vaccination ready to administer. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant

Pubs, restaurants and non essential shops in Suffolk and Norfolk, were forced to close from Boxing Day as the counties moved to the highest tier 4 restrictions.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus