Vicky Chiles ready to welcome customers to Mr Simms in Lynn’s Norfolk Street. Picture: Ian Burt.

Town centres were buzzing this week as shops, salons, barbers and beer gardens welcomed customers back after months of lockdown.

The easing in coronavirus restrictions allowed a host of businesses to throw open their doors on Monday, including clothes stores, gyms, spas, toy shops, charity shops and tattoo parlours.

Outdoor attractions including zoos, farms and theme parks could also re-open and “staycations” in self-contained accommodation were also given the green light.

Social distancing guidelines –hands, face and space – remain in place and signs, floor stickers and bollard covers have been installed in West Norfolk towns to remind shoppers to keep to the left and follow the rules, with further window stickers set to appear shortly.

Face masks remain a fact of life and Covid Marshals will continue to patrol in and around Lynn to support businesses and offer advice, the borough council said.

The council’s West Norfolk Welcomes campaign is encouraging people to come into the area but to be respectful, to follow the guidance and to shop safely.  

West Norfolk Council chief executive Lorraine Gore, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have been keen to ensure that we have supported businesses in the best way possible while adhering to all the government guidance.  

“We have put a lot of measures in place to ensure that West Norfolk is ready to welcome back visitors, shoppers and residents in a safe way.  

“Hand sanitiser stations have been installed, advice and signage provided for businesses and around the towns.  

“Our local  businesses are vital to our local economy and we would urge you to support them in any way you can, safely and responsibly.  

“As the roadmap from lockdown progresses,  we are exploring what activities or events we may be able to provide in the future to encourage people back to our towns to support local businesses.”

Queues of shoppers formed in King’s Lynn town centre as the shops re-opened on Monday, with lines forming outside Primark in the High Street and TK Maxx in the Vancouver Quarter.

Improvements are also being made to Lynn High Street, with new seating, planting and paving being installed between Primark and VPZ vape shop.

The work, funded by the Town’s Deal accelerated fund and the Norfolk Strategic Fund, will also see new street lighting installed ready for special events and Christmas.

Extra outdoor seating has also been bought by the borough council, funded through the Norfolk Strategic Fund Tourism Support Package, to help support hospitality businesses which do not have any of their own.  

This will be installed in Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place and King’s Staithe Square initially, with plans for other locations including in Hunstanton, a spokesman said.

Despite the changes this week, the rules around meeting others remain in place – no more than six people or two households can meet and it must be outdoors.