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Nottinghamshire: Newark has mixed emotions following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of new tier-style system of coronavirus restrictions




The people of Newark have shared mixed emotions following the announcement of a new tier-style system of coronavirus restrictions.

There were a variety of opinions from members of the public and businesses, including WiseGuys, The Soup Dwagon and Lucky Secret Boutique, in response to Nottinghamshire being placed in the 'high risk' category.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement means a ban on mixing between households will come in to force tomorrow (Wednesday, October 14). Shops, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to remain open.

Newark Market Place. (35284849)
Newark Market Place. (35284849)

Shannon Bromell, owner of The Soup Dwagon on Chain Lane, said she had her fingers crossed her business would continue to be supported.

"I am relatively new to this building as we were in The Buttermarket before," she said.

"We had take-away options there and used to have a van in the market place, so people already know us as a sort of take-away anyway.

"It is very disappointing though that we can't have everyone dine in at the moment but we are lucky in that we have a lot of local support.

"We have asked the district council to put a canopy up so we can have a few more seats, hopefully they will allow us."

Shannon said the new tier system meant she would still struggle to see her grandchildren, who she has missed dearly throughout the pandemic.

"One of my grandchildren was born in May and I have only held her once," said Shannon. "It's been very difficult not seeing them."

Newark Market Place. 170320DD1-26
Newark Market Place. 170320DD1-26

Martin Bishop, manager at WiseGuys Menswear on Middlegate, said Newark had dodged a bullet in the new tier system.

"It actually gives us a chance," he said. "It would have been so difficult if cafes and restaurants had to close.

"We came back in the middle of June so it's a massive sense of relief we won't be closing yet.

"This will give people encouragement to get back out there.

"We could worry about the sky falling down but it's no use.

"It is a serious time but you've got to just carry on, keep doing the things you enjoy."

Jay German, of Newark, said she thought the new tier system set out by government was confusing.

"I am confused every time he comes on the TV. He has got to make his mind up.

"Schools are just a breeding ground for the virus. They need to show some common sense and close them.

"There is over 100 students in my daughter's bubble and I'm very worried about sending her in."

Owner of Lucky Secret Boutique on Wilson Street, Sue Allen, said from a business point of view, she was quite concerned.

Lucky Secret Boutique, Wilson Street, Newark. Credit: Google Maps (35668802)
Lucky Secret Boutique, Wilson Street, Newark. Credit: Google Maps (35668802)

"It's worrying what the next few months will bring," she said. "Particularly with the extra restrictions we are being faced with.

"They (the restrictions and tier system) are making people more cautious about coming out, particularly in Newark because you have a lot of visitors from elsewhere.

"I'm worried that will be a negative.

"It's nothing too earth-shattering at the moment, but still concerned about the future and what next year will bring."

Jason Dickenson, of Collingham, said he thought there was going to be another national lockdown announced by Boris Johnson.

"To be brutally honest, I don't think more restrictions will calm the situation down - it will keep going and going.

"It's like the common cold, you can try and shield yourself from it but you're very likely to catch it.

"I mostly keep myself to myself. I don't go out very often and I work nights, so restrictions won't really affect me.

"Most people have mixed emotions but I'm not really bothered about what they do.

"But I think the Prime Minister is doing good, the best he can for the country - that's what they are there for."

Newark Market Place looking busy. 120620JT6-2
Newark Market Place looking busy. 120620JT6-2

Visiting Newark and her mother for the day was Mary Hall and her young son Edward, of Oxfordshire.

"It is my mum's 82nd birthday this week so we are visiting her at her home in Staunton, she has lived here for over 30 years" she said.

"I think given that Nottingham has, I think, the most cases in the country, restrictions could be stronger.

"My mum has been very good with the restrictions and because she's in a village, it's quite easy for her to have quality of life. But I do think there is a big disconnect between generations."

When asked if restaurants and cafes staying open made sense, with many allowing multiple households, Mary said: "That's a really good question actually.

"I love my coffee and my little boy loves hot chocolates. But we have had to resist because there has got to be some common sense.

"It isn't about us, it's about taking responsibility and showing respect for others."

Newark market place. 080620DD1-1
Newark market place. 080620DD1-1

Young couple Scott Goodey, of Derby, and Abbie Asman, of Newark, were sharing their last day together in the town before the new restrictions come in to force tomorrow.

Scott said: "I don't feel I've been very informed about what's going on in my own area, it's not been clear."

He added there seemed to be more information about the more-affected areas like Nottinghamshire, but that this shouldn't be the case.

Abbie said: "If everyone actually follows the new rules that have been imposed, hopefully it will calm the situation down."

Colby Williams, Tambo Lounge supervisor, said he was surprised Nottinghamshire was not in tier three, the 'very high' risk category.

Tambo Lounge supervisor Colby Williams.
Tambo Lounge supervisor Colby Williams.

"I thought I was going to get a call yesterday to say 'time to close', so I am relieved that we are still open.

"But there is also the uncertainty.

"We are not being treated as we should be, with Nottingham having the highest infection rate in the country.

"It's almost like we are a game of dominoes, just waiting to fall over."

With his birthday on Friday, Colby had arranged to go into Nottingham for a celebration.

"I'm taking the extreme of cancelling the weekend just to not make matters worse. I think more people should take this into account.

"If you are in the mindset of 'I'm not going to catch the virus or I won't be ill if I do', it's not helpful.

"It's not about ourselves, it's about others."

Steve Bateman, of Epping near London, came to Newark for the day to get his motorhome serviced.

He said the government could have gone further with restrictions, especially within the top, 'very high' risk tier.

"It is very difficult to impose restrictions in this climate," he said. "But we are going to have to get used to this because it'll be going around for a while.

"The new restrictions will make a difference to begin with but they will have to keep reviewing it."

Kerri McGarrigle, chairman of Newark Business Club, said: “I’m relieved to see we’re not in the ‘very high’ tier, especially after all of the work that local businesses, retailers and tourism attractions have put into keeping their clients and customers safe over the last few months.

“I know many in the business community will be worried about the immediate future, so I would call on the government to continually review the support they are offering businesses and organisations and not wait until it is too late to open up funding support streams.

“As a community, I would ask the people of Newark and Sherwood to rally around those businesses that supported them during lockdown, with new services and offerings, so that we can preserve the vibrant high street that we know and love.”



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