Covid-19 timeline: How Lowestoft responded to the pandemic
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
With 2020 being dominated by the coronavirus crisis, it led to lockdowns, restrictions, working from home, some shops closing down and numerous events being cancelled.
A year on, here is the first of a two-part timeline looking at how Covid-19 affected the East Suffolk area and how communities rallied round to help - featuring stories that hit the headlines in The Journal between March and June 2020.
The first three cases of Covid were confirmed at James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.
East Suffolk College and local schools closed except for children of key workers, with teaching moving online for home schooling.
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The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft and Seagull Theatre in Pakefield, as well as the town's East Coast Cinema are told to close, with future shows cancelled or rescheduled.
All cafés, pubs and restaurants close except takeaways, along with nightclubs, gyms and leisure centres, while some local businesses start home delivery.
- 1 'Lucky number seven' - Landlord opens 'flagship' pub in hometown
- 2 Emergency works cause early morning traffic chaos on A47
- 3 Boy attacked by man in woodland in Lowestoft
- 4 Royal Mail postboxes stolen from villages
- 5 'Marmite' beach huts supported despite disability concerns
- 6 Arson probe after flames from lit aerosol cans cause late night damage
- 7 Duo left shaken after youths threw stones and jumped on parked car
- 8 Woman suffering flashbacks and seizures after unprovoked attack
- 9 Teenage drink driver to appear in court after crash
- 10 'A real buzz' hits Lowestoft as lockdown rules ease
Community organisations in Pakefield, Lowestoft and Gunton set up helplines and groups to help others, as the ‘Home But Not Alone’ service is launched by Suffolk councils and others.
Waveney MP Peter Aldous reports constituents stranded in Bali, Peru, New Zealand and on Coral Princess cruise ship in Rio – with commercial flights cancelled.
The public are told to ‘Stay at home to save lives’ – the only exception being for shopping for essentials, for one hour of exercise, for medical needs and to travel to work if unable to work from home.
The first lockdown started on March 26 with sporting fixtures cancelled or postponed.
East Coast College donates facemasks and disposable aprons to the James Paget with closed holiday parks donating surplus food to the Tribal Trust, Salvation Army and Lowestoft Foodbank.
Coronavirus tests are rolled out to police officers, firefighters and prison staff.
Zoos including Africa Alive close.
The Thursday ‘Clap for Carers’ begins as Rainbow drawings appear in windows of homes to show thanks for the NHS.
East Suffolk Council houses dozens of rough sleepers during lockdown as empty flats at Avenue Mansions in Lowestoft are transformed to help vulnerable people during Covid.
95 fines handed out across Suffolk to Covid rule breakers.
The North Suffolk Schools Sports and Health partnership introduces virtual school games from home to keep children active.
Latitude Festival and Lowestoft Lions August Bank Holiday Gala Day cancelled.
Suffolk firefighters train to drive ambulances during pandemic.
Lowestoft Foodbank sees 112 per cent increase in numbers needing its services in East Suffolk during the pandemic.
East Suffolk PPE group makes 3,000 items of PPE for frontline staff fighting coronavirus.
Green Jack Brewery creates a new beer called Nightingale with a proportion of the sale going to the James Paget.
Lockdown rules relaxed allowing people to drive in cars to other destinations for unlimited amount of exercise.
Lowestoft Lions unites with several other Lions clubs to buy equipment for James Paget that ensure face masks worn by NHS are fitted correctly.
Illegal outdoor parties of young people are dispersed at North Denes in Lowestoft.
Local Rotarians supply £1,500 of material to make scrubs for the NHS and Doctor surgeries.
Primary and secondary schools reopen in Lowestoft for some pupils with a varied attendance rate reported.
Lowestoft Town FC awarded a Pitch Preparation Fund Grant to support clubs that have lost out on normal revenue streams.
Kingsley Healthcare secures a 12 month stockpile of PPE for the protection of its care home staff and residents.
Gatherings of people from more than one household is limited to six people outdoors.
Dental practices reopen.
Five-One taxis in Lowestoft introduced safety protection screens in its fleet of vehicles to keep staff and customers safe.
Face coverings become compulsory on public transport.
Africa Alive reopens along with farms, other zoos and safari parks.
‘Clap for Carers’ ended.
Test and trace is set up in Suffolk.
Next week's edition will feature Covid-19 stories that hit the headlines between July and December 2020.