‘Like the days before Christmas’ in Suffolk as lockdown two looms
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Shoppers have been out in force in towns across Suffolk as the country prepared for the start of the second lockdown on Thursday morning.
In Ipswich crowds were not quite as large as they were at the weekend, but there were queues outside Primark and Greggs sandwich shop – and there were also shoppers in other stores that will have to close their doors at least until December 2 as part of the new lockdown that was being approved by MPs in Westminster on Wednesday afternoon.
Food shops and those selling other essential equipment will be able to stay open – and market food stalls are expected to continue to operate during the lockdown.
Although Ipswich town centre is expected to be much quieter with most of the stores shut, Ipswich Buses will continue to operate their normal services for the next four weeks to allow people to get to work, schools and colleges, and to buy essential goods.
Ipswich Buses general manager Stephen Bryce said: “We understand that some people will still need to travel on our buses and we want to make it possible for them to do that with social distancing so our services will continue to operate.”
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Felixstowe town centre was extremely busy as people raced to do Christmas shopping before the lockdown.
One shopper said: “Hamilton Road was packed with people and the shops were busier than I had seen them for months. It was like the last Saturday before Christmas.”
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The town is expecting to see many outlets closed with most classed as non-essential and the resort having a large number of hospitality outlets – though Morrisons, Tesco, Iceland, Lidl and its Co-op supermarkets will remain open.
And in Bury St Edmunds there was a last-minute rush before lockdown starts. Mark Cordell from BID company Our Bury St Edmunds said: “Some businesses have said it’s a bit like Christmas Eve with people out for some last-minute shopping.
“I think businesses are a bit more philosophical about this now having been through it once – and seem a bit more prepared for it. I also think there will be more businesses trading through it as there is more clarity about what constitutes ‘essential goods,’ but overall they’re working hard now and hoping that everyone will be back in the town centre in December.”