What's reopening in Fakenham from May 17?

Fakenham market day and town centre. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Fakenham market day and town centre. Picture: MATTHEW USHER - Credit: Archant

In one week we hit the third stop on our roadmap out of lockdown, and with that brings a host of restrictions easing. Pubs and restaurants are allowed to let people 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 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, much to the joy of both landlords and customers who have endured cold and wet days to get back to the pub. 

The view of Fakenham town centre from the tower of the parish church. Photo: IAN BURT

The view of Fakenham town centre from the tower of the parish church. Photo: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

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

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.


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

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

Central Cinema, Fakenham

Central Cinema, Fakenham - Credit: IAN BURT

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For film fans, Central Cinema in Fakenham has confirmed that they will open on May 17.

They are hoping to welcome back guests with an array of films on show, many of which have been delayed as a result of the pandemic, including Black Widow, Peter Rabbit 2 and Cruella. 

On their Facebook page, the team said, “A wet and miserable day needs a little bright spot to get us all through, so here it is. Needless to say that all these films are subject to confirmation but it’s starting to look a lot more promising.

“The next 12-18 months after opening are looking extremely substantial and full of big cinematic experiences to whisk you away from it all.

“We will keep you updated as much as we can but please stick with us as we navigate the next few months.”

Wells Maltings and Wells Film Centre also hope to welcome back visitors this May. 

Norfolk’s tourist industry will also be given a much-needed boost. Currently, only self-catering accommodation with new shared facilities could open. Now, hotels and other types of accommodation can open to guests.

When can pubs open indoors?

The General Townshend Club, in Fakenham.

The General Townshend Club, in Fakenham. - Credit: Archant

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

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

After eating and drinking al fresco as lockdown began easing on April 12, there is no need to be keeping an eye on the forecast as you head to the pub or restaurant from May 17.

Tudor Tea Rooms on Norwich Street will reopen for the first time since Christmas. 

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 Crown, The Limes, Rampant Horse Inn and The Golden Fleece can open indoors.

The General Townshend Club in Fakenham will reopen its door for the first time since Christmas on May 19 at 7:30pm, going part-time until fully reopening on June 21.

They will be open Wednesday evening, lunch & evening Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday lunchtime. They will be shut from Sunday night until Wednesday evening. 

Like outdoors, table service will still be required and most pubs but 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?

Fakenham Superbowl. Picture: Fakenham Superbowl

Fakenham Superbowl. Picture: Fakenham Superbowl - Credit: Archant

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: 

  • Concert halls
  • Amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • Bingo halls
  • Casinos 
  • Bowling alleys - Fakenham Superbowl is hoping to reopen, but are waiting for their insurance policy to switch back.
  • Snooker and pool halls - Pot Black should reopen May 17

Indoor reopenings at venues already allowed to open outdoor

Mike Bridges at the Museun of Gas in Fakenham, which is appearing on BBC2. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History. - Credit: Matthew Usher

  • Museums and galleries - Norfolk museum will be able to reopen, but sadly it comes too soon for Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History. They hope to announce a reopening date soon.
  • Adventure playgrounds and activities 
  • Skating rinks 
  • Games and recreation venues, including laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing and recreational driving facilities - 
  • Trampolining parks 
  • Water and aqua parks 
  • Theme parks and film studios
  • Zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions
  • Botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes 
  • Sculpture parks 
  • Stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites - Holkham Hall will be reopening its indoor spaces from May 17. Blickling Hall is also expected to reopen on May 17 following repairs to its historic ceiling. Sandringham House is taking bookings for visitors from May 29.
  • What else can open from May 17 when lockdown eases? 
  • Conference centres and exhibition halls will also be able to open, and private dining and banqueting events, subject to the capacity limits set out by the government. 

The remaining holiday accommodation, including hotels, will be able to reopen, as will hostels and B&Bs.

Saunas and steam rooms will be allowed to open once again. Indoor adult team sports and group exercise classes at gyms will return indoors.

Other events and activities that can commence from Step 3 (no earlier than May 17) include: 

Business functions such as conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, charity auctions, and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality.


Air shows, historical/battle reenactments, live animal performances such as falconry displays at events, and non-elite and professional sporting events. 

How many people can attend events?

Though indoor events will be permitted to restart, attendances will be restricted. At Step 3 it will be subject to 1,000 people or 50pc of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, for indoor events.

For outdoor events 4,000 people or 50pc of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower.

For outdoor events taking place in venues with seated capacity of over 16,000, event organisers may apply a 25pc capacity cap, up to a maximum of 10,000 seated people.

Fan sit in households at the football

Fans watch on at Clipbush Park as Fakenham beat MK Irish in the FA Vase. - Credit: Alan Raymond Palmer

This means fans will be able to return to Fakenham Town's ground to watch The Ghost who have arranged a friendly against Wisbech Town for May 22.

What children’s activities can open from May 17?

Families will be delighted to know indoor children's activities, such as soft play areas, should be open again from May 17.

Megafun at Fakenham SuperBowl should reopen on the same day as the bowling alley does.

Places that can open include play areas, including soft play centres and inflatable parks.

How many households can mix from May 17? 

As part of Step 3, and no earlier than May 17, the government will look to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible. 

This means that most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal for now. 

Indoors, the 'Rule of 6' or two households will apply but the government is keeping this under review. 

How many people can attend my wedding from May 17? 

As part of the Step 3 rules, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted for up to 30 people in Covid-19 secure venues that are allowed to open. This is up from the current number of 15 people.  

The limit will also apply to other types of significant life events, including bar mitzvahs and christenings. 

This will be welcome news for popular wedding venues such as Godwick Great Barn, Thursford Garden Pavilion and Piggyback Barns.

Government guidance says receptions can also go ahead with up to 30 people in a Covid-19 secure indoor venue or outdoors including private gardens. Further details on receptions at this step will be updated by the government.  

At Step 4, the government hopes to remove all limits on weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions. This will be subject to the results of the Scientific Events Research programme. 

How many can attend a funeral? 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said that the legal limit of 30 mourners will be removed as part of the next stage of lockdown easing, expected on May 17.

Instead, the capacity will be determined by how many people venues, such as places of worship or funeral homes, can safely accommodate while maintaining social distancing, the department added.

This includes both indoor and outdoor venues and all organisers must continue to be Covid-secure and follow social distancing rules, it said.

While venue capacities will vary, many will allow "significantly" more than 30 people to attend, the MHCLG said.

When is Step 4?

The fourth step of the government's lockdown easing roadmap is scheduled for no earlier than Monday, June 21. 

In Step 4 – five weeks after Step 3 – the government hopes to reopen remaining venues, such as nightclubs - including the full reopening of Metro and DC's.

It also hopes to lift the restrictions on social contact and large events that apply in Step 3, enabling gigs, festivals, and theatre performances to attract crowds above the Step 3 capacity restrictions. 

This is subject to the outcome of the Events Research Programme, and a review of social distancing measures. 

Officials will also look to relax Covid-secure requirements on businesses, subject to the outcome of the reviews. 

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