What does the arts and events industry make of 'Freedom Day' delay?
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014
The arts and events industry has reacted with a mix of frustration and acceptance after the final easing of coronavirus restrictions was delayed by four weeks.
Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday evening that 'Freedom Day' - when remaining rules such as social distancing were due to end - would be deferred until July 19.
The decision has been backed by many in the scientific community, but the prime minister has faced a rebellion from some Conservative MPs.
And dozens of performance venues and organisers across Norfolk and Waveney are having to reconsider whether forthcoming plans can go ahead.
Among those hit by the news is Folk in a Field Festival, which had been due to take place at Bradmoor Woods in West Acre from July 2-4.
Luke Horncastle, its founder, said: "At the moment I'm looking at different options and will see what is viable without compromising the sell of the festival.
"I was hoping events would get a mention, perhaps that those outside could go ahead with testing - but there was nothing.
- 1 Drink driver caught at three times legal limit on A1067
- 2 Norfolk festival cancelled amid 'challenging year'
- 3 Film studio which brought John Travolta to Norfolk shuts for good
- 4 Festival-goers 'in the dark' over refunds following cancellation
- 5 Norfolk named among UK's best wildlife holiday spots
- 6 Fakenham farm bids to open field for dog exercise
- 7 Norfolk winery wins prestigious national award
- 8 Sparse and getting older - What the census says about north Norfolk
- 9 Drink driving teacher crashed into church wall with baby in car
- 10 Villagers celebrate victory in 'battle of East Rudham common'
"Football matches are being allowed to go ahead, but arts and events have just been forgotten. Again we've been brushed under the carpet."
On the east coast, Yarmouth Hippodrome's summer show is still due to get under way on July 7 with social distancing in place.
But owner Peter Jay, who believes delaying the June 21 easing was the correct call, hopes to be operating at full capacity from the first available date.
"We were expecting this news and I think they have done the right thing," added Mr Jay.
"It is better to be cautious. The last thing we want is to open up and then get pushed back into another lockdown.
"Operating has been hard, but all the way through I've been determined to keep the momentum going and not disappoint our audience who are keen to see the shows."
Meanwhile, Diss Corn Hall, which hosts all manner of events, has already seen cancellations following the latest announcement.
"Two music acts have cancelled and that is because they want to see people singing and dancing," said operations manager Lee Johnson.
"We can only seat around 145 with restrictions and some performers have said that just doesn't work."