Visiting Norwich FAQs

Everything you need to know before visiting Norwich

With the Government’s roadmap for coming out of lockdown 3.0 announcement 22 February, here are our top questions and answers for visiting Norwich. Remember that for the roadmap is subject to revision depending on certain conditions being met. At all times we must remember ‘Hands, Face, Space’ We need to continue respecting social distancing and safety rules to keep ourselves and others safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What might Norwich look like on 8 March?

From 8 March you will be able to meet outside and socialise with one other person from a different household. This can include “a coffee on a bench” or a picnic.

Cafés will still only be able to offer takeaways. When queueing for a takeaway coffee we must still remain 2-meters from the person in front and behind us, wear masks and use antibacterial gel to wash our hands. Restaurants and other eateries are permitted to offer takeaways only.

Read our blog for a round-up of outdoors places to enjoy a coffee, or our blog on the best places to grab a coffee in Norwich.

Bear in mind Norwich will be busier from 8 March. If you are visiting the city for a walk or a coffee with one other person, consider doing this at a time that may be less busy.

Schools and colleges also open on 8 March which will mean roads and car parks will see more traffic, public transport will also have more passengers. Check timetables ahead of travel for the most up to date information.

What will people returning to Norwich from 8 March need to be aware of?

To help Norwich’s businesses keep their customers safe, Norwich Business Improvement District designed, produced and distributed stickers and signage last year. Using Norwich, the City of Stories branding your might see these Physical Distancing stickers outside some shops and cafes. It is vitally important we all still follow ‘Hands, Face, Space’ to keep others and ourselves safe.

Elsewhere, many national brands are using their own safety messages so look out for additional signage and use these messages to guide you.  We need to act respectfully to ourselves, others and staff.

What can I do from 29 March?

As long as certain Government conditions are met, people will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the “rule of six”, including in private gardens.

The stay-at-home rule will end but people should stay local as much as possible.

When will non-essential shops open?

Non-essential shops will reopen no earlier than 12 April as long as certain conditions are met.

In the Government roadmap, non-essential shops will be allowed to open no earlier than 12 April. What should I be aware of when I’m out shopping?

The Government’s message to us all, first and foremost is keep safe and keep physically distancing. Before you head out it’s a good idea to have hand sanitiser with you, and make sure you have your face covering and possibly gloves in case you feel the need to use them when you are out. Remember ‘Hands, Face, Space’ still applies.

Sadly, the high street has changed over the last 14 months and some of our favourite places to shop will no longer be open. Businesses badly need our support, so it is important that we start using the high street when we feel safe and comfortable to do so.

Ahead of coming into Norwich, if you know where you are going to shop, check individual websites before you leave home for opening times, facilities and car parking. Shops will have revised their hours and days of operation, many will not be open on Sundays or late on Thursdays.

Don’t forget your debit or credit card as many retailers may prefer this to cash.

Checklist before leaving home:

– Check car park status or timetables if you are using public transport

– Look up opening times and facilities for individual stores

– Know where you can use a toilet

– Be aware most shops, public transport and car parks may only take card payments

Do I still need to wear a mask?

Yes, face coverings are still mandatory when visiting anywhere indoors. It is still vitally important to adhere to ‘Hands, Face, Space’. Be respectful of others, keep your distance and your patience to keep everyone safe.

Can I use public transport?

Strict physical distancing remains in operation on public transport and face coverings when travelling are mandatory. Be aware that there will be a reduced capacity on public transport so you may have to wait longer than usual to get on a bus or train. This includes Park & Ride bus services. We advise anyone using public transport to check timetables ahead of travelling.

Bus timetables and operators in Norwich
Park & Ride
First Buses
Greater Anglia

What car parks are open?

Please check ahead to make sure where you plan to park is open. Note also, car parks may be offering less capacity and many may only take card payments.

Council car parks & parking spaces
Chantry Place (now offering contactless payments)
Castle Quarter
The Forum
John Lewis
Live parking information

When will bars, restaurant and cafes be open?

Restaurants and pub gardens will reopen no earlier than 12 April, they will be allowed to serve sitting customers outdoors (six people or two households). This includes food and alcohol.

And from 17 May (earliest) indoor hospitality opens along with hotels. Six people or two households will be able to meet indoors.

I want a restaurant quality takeaway at home, where can I get one?

Norwich has some fantastic restaurants who have diversified their offer to bring incredible dishes into our homes from some of our favourite places. Some offer click and collect, others will deliver, some do both!

The Assembly House afternoon tea (traditional or savoury) as well as Richard’s tasty oven ready meals.
The Last
Grosvenor Fish Bar
The Norfolk Mead (Coltishall) afternoon tea

When can I visit a hairdresser, or other close-contact service?

Hairdressers, beauty salons and other “close contact services” can reopen no earlier than 12 April.

When can I visit the library?

Libraries and community centres can reopen no earlier than 12 April.

Where can we meet others indoors?

Following the Government’s roadmap, six people or two households can meet indoors no earlier than 17 May. Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors from this date.

When can I visit a museum, theatre, or cinema?

Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children’s play areas can open no earlier than 17 May. Visit individual websites for full details when planning a trip out.