What's reopening in North Norfolk from May 17

The team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating outside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76

The team at Sheringham Little Theatre celebrating outside the theatre after receiving a lifeline £76,000 culture recovery grant. Picture: Sheringham Little Theatre - Credit: Archant

The countdown is on until pubs and restaurants can start letting people sit indoors, theatres and cinemas reopen and hotels can let visitors stay.

Following the successful reopening of hairdressers, pub gardens, and non-essential shops in April,

The most significant change will be that the hospitality sector will be allowed to welcome customers inside, a change which will be a huge relief to both businesses owners and customers alike.


Step 3 of the Government's roadmap out of lockdown is expected to come into place on Monday, May 17. - Credit: Archant

What is Step 3 of the roadmap?

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

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.

In North Norfolk, Wells Maltings will reopen from May 17, with film screenings restarting on May 20.

Sheringham Little Theatre will be springing back into action from May 22 with a live performance of the comedy George Don’t Do That, starring local actors.

Debbie Thompson, the theatre director said:  “We cannot wait to welcome live drama and audiences back to our auditorium – we have missed them so much.

“And it is wonderful that one of our talented local actors, who support the theatre so well, is bringing some much-needed comedy after so many gloomy months.”

In Cromer, the Regal Movieplex in Hans Place will also be reopening from May 17.

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.

Man hand holding a half pint of beer from a wooden table in an English pub.

Pubs are getting ready to welcome customers indoors in Step 3 of the government's roadmap out of lockdown on May 17. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

When can pubs open indoors? 

Hospitality businesses across North Norfolk 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.

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.

In Cromer, The Wellington Pub and Smokehouse, The Red Lion, The Gangway, The King's Head and The Albion will all be able to welcome customers inside, as will the town's many cafes.

Will Chandler, co-owner of The Gangway pub in Cromer, welcomes back customers as restrictions ease f

Will Chandler, co-owner of The Gangway pub in Cromer, welcomes back customers as restrictions ease further. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant

What indoor attractions can open from May 17

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 - In Cromer, Leisureland and The Dunes arcades will reopen on May 17.
  • Bingo halls
  • Casinos 
  • Bowling alleys 
  • Snooker and pool halls - In Sheringham, The Morley Club will open its snooker halls from May 17. Liz Green, manager of The Morley Club said: "We have got a lot of people looking forward to getting back to playing snooker. It's been hard for everyone but to get our locals back in, we're really looking forward to it."
Sheringham museum director Lisa Little, who says £60,000 of grants have guaranteed the future of the

Sheringham museum director Lisa Little, who says £60,000 of grants have guaranteed the future of the seafront venue.Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Indoor reopenings at venues already allowed to open outdoors

  • Museums and galleries - Sheringham Museum and Cromer Museum will reopen from May 17 as will the Muckleburgh Military Collection. The RAF Air Defence Radar Museum at Neatishead will reopen from May 18.
  • Adventure playgrounds and activities 
  • Skating rinks 
  • Games and recreation venues, including escape rooms, paintballing and recreational driving facilities - such as KartTrak Cromer which re-opened on April 12.
  • Model villages 
  • Water and aqua parks 
  • Theme parks and film studios
  • Zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions - Cromer's Amazona Zoo re-opened on April 17
  • Botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes - Stody Lodge Gardens re-opened to the public on May 2 and will host The Stody Rainbow Garden Party on May 22.
  • 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.
Kate Tritton, director at Karttrak Cromer with the team, from left, Kate's husband Darren, director;

Kate Tritton, director at Karttrak Cromer with the team, from left, Kate's husband Darren, director; Connor Bacon, track marshall; Kate's Son Jack, track manager; Tom Costello, office manager; Connor Smith, track marshall; and Jacob Stares, track marshall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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. 

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. 

Other events and activities that are able to 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.

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.

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

Cromer Carnival day kicks off with steel band music, jousting, fairground rides and an air display a

Cromer Carnival day kicks off with steel band music, jousting, fairground rides and an air display ahead of the procession.Byline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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 Barn Drift, in Cley, Sussex barn and The Hoste in Burnham Market.

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.


People enjoying the hot weather in Cromer - Credit: Archant

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.

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.