What's reopening in Dereham from May 17?

Five Norfolk towns are set to see hundreds of thousands of pounds invested to plan their futures. Ph

Five Norfolk towns are set to see hundreds of thousands of pounds invested to plan their futures. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2008

It's just one and a half weeks until pubs and restaurants start allowing people to sit indoors, theatres and cinemas reopening, and hotels let visitors stay.

Following the successful reopening of hairdressers, pub gardens, and non-essential shops during April, Step 3 of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown is expected to come into place from Monday, May 17.

The main change is that indoor hospitality will be allowed, meaning pubs will be able to offer indoor dining and drinking again, which will be a huge relief to both landlords and customers who have endured chilly outdoor visits. 

What does Step 3 mean?

Dereham Town Centre was full of life on April 12

Many businesses will be able to reopen for the first time this year on May 17. - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

As long as the number of coronavirus cases stays low, Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown is scheduled to take effect from Monday, May 17.

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Alongside indoor drinking and dining being allowed for pubs and restaurants, entertainment venues can open too, including cinemas and theatres. New rules will be in place for different sizes of venues.

Normal outdoor events can open for up to 4,000 people or 50pc of the venue capacity, whichever is smaller. 

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Indoor events can open for up to 1,000 people or 50pc capacity, again whichever is lower.

For film fans, Orion Cinema in Dereham has confirmed that they will open on May 17 after undergoing some major changes.

The cinema now boasts an online booking system that automatically socially distances guests once they book and a new Dolby 7.1 sound system 

Lee Allwood, director of Orion Cinemas since 2019 when they took over Hollywood Cinemas, said: "We're looking forward to inviting film fans back to the cinema on May 17 after being closed since December.

"We have lots of new films including Peter Rabbit 2 and Nomadland."

Theatres in Norfolk will be welcoming back audiences, with Sheringham Little Theatre staging shows and film screenings from May 22.

Norfolk’s tourist industry will also be given a much-needed boost as hotels and other types of accommodation can open to guests, previously only self-catering accommodation with no shared facilities could open.

When can pubs open indoors?

Indoor areas of hospitality venues such as pubs, cafés, and restaurants will reopen from Step 3.

Hospitality businesses in Dereham will be able to open indoors from May 17, albeit with some restrictions still in place. 

After eating and drinking al fresco since Step 2 of the lockdown easing on April 12, there will no longer be any need to check the weather forecast every time you head to the pub or restaurant from May 17.

Pubs can welcome back customers for a pint inside, rather than only offering outdoor service, and indoor dining will also resume across the hospitality sector.

This means pubs such as The Gemini, The Red Lion and The Bull and bars such as The Metro and DC's Bar will finally be able to open once again.

Former British Airways Cabin Crew, Abbi King, becomes new manager of The Gemini in Dereham

Former British Airways Cabin Crew, Abbi King, becomes new manager of The Gemini in Dereham - Credit: Abigail Nicholson

Like outdoors, table service will still be required and most pubs but they will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks, nor will there be a curfew. However, customers will have to order, eat and drink while seated. 

What indoor attractions can open at Step 3?

Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions will be allowed to reopen from Step 3, no earlier than May 17. According to Cabinet Office guidance, as well as cinemas and theatres this will include: 

David R Mays and Alex Chenery, from Level Up in Dereham, have applied for a license to serve alcohol

David R Mays and Alex Chenery, from Level Up in Dereham - Credit: Archant

  • Concert halls - Such as the memorial hall on Norwich Road.
  • Amusement arcades and adult gaming centres - Level Up Gaming Cafe on High Street will be able to open from May 17.
  • Bingo halls
  • Casinos 
  • Bowling alleys - Strikes in Dereham will all open on May 17
  • Snooker and pool halls

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