Town centres look set to bustle again if government plans to lift the remaining Covid restrictions are given the green light.
And in King’s Lynn, preparations are already underway to welcome visitors and shoppers back with street entertainment and a host of summer events to enjoy.
But people are being urged to be “respectful” of those who still wish to follow Covid-safe guidance.
Vicky Etheridge, manager of Discover King’s Lynn, the town’s BID (Business Improvement District), said: “Assuming all restrictions are lifted, then we are firstly really pleased for those businesses who have remained closed for almost 18 months and for them it can’t come soon enough.
“We are really looking forward to putting on some street entertainment and events over the summer holidays and welcoming people to the town.
“We are aware that the virus is still very much in circulation and our message to everyone coming to King’s Lynn is to be kind, patient and respectful of other consumers who might prefer a bit more space and, of businesses and their staff who might choose to continue to apply some Covid safety measures.”
This week Prime Minster Boris Johnson revealed the government’s plan for step four of the roadmap and confirmed rules look set be lifted on Monday, July 19 – dubbed as “Freedom Day”.
The move will see all businesses re-open, including nightclubs, scrapping the one-metre plus rule on social distancing and no legal obligation to wear face masks.
There will be no limits on numbers able to attend weddings, funerals, concerts, theatres and sports events.
Pubs and restaurants will no longer have to provide table service only.
The cap on care home visitors will be abolished, as will the rule of six and the two household limits indoors and guidance to work from home will end.
It was also announced this week that schools will no longer use the bubbles system and instead, pupils or schools will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
However, this final step in removing restrictions on July 19 is all subject to a Covid data review due to be held on Monday.
Writing in his Your Local Paper column today (Friday), North West Norfolk MP James Wild has urged people to have both vaccinations as cases continue to rise albeit “more slowly”.
He said: “The question is, how do we balance the risks of Covid against the damage that is being done from the restrictions to people’s lives, livelihoods, and wellbeing? As the prime minister said, if we don’t take this step now then when?
“Step four is about beginning to get used to living with Covid. The biggest shift is that we will be responsible for making our own decisions about balancing risks and managing the virus.”