Workers, business owners and students in the city centre have spoken out over a ‘daunting’ and ‘very confusing’ situation as Nottingham is made to wait for a local lockdown.
In the wake of the news the city now has the highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the country, many felt it was time for restrictions to be brought in.
Although city and county councils have asked the public to follow stricter measures by urging them not to mix between households there has yet been no firm rules implemented by the Government.
A total of 2,294 new cases were recorded in the seven days to October 5, figures have shown – the equivalent of 689.1 cases per 100,000 people.
It marks a huge rise from 407 new cases in the previous seven days (the week to September 28), or 122.3 per 100,000 people.
The city is also well ahead of the area with the second highest rate, Knowsley, which is now on 601.2 cases per 100,000 people.
Mum-of-two and retail worker, Halynah Szowkomud, has concerns for her family and finds it “angering” to see people not sticking to guidelines.
The Clifton resident said: “It’s a bit daunting knowing Nottingham is the top-most affected now.
“I do think there are a lot of people not going by the guidelines and I was waiting for there to be a big announcement – but we’ve had nothing.”
“I have a family member who is shielding and it is very scary – she doesn’t go out at all now,” the 37-year-old added.
“It’s angering for me to see people in the city and around where I live, not sticking to the rules.
“We shouldn’t have to be told, but it’s hard to know what we’re meant to do.
“I can’t not afford to go to work but the trams are getting busier and I think we need to be prepared for restrictions.
“Myself and my family would be happy to stop mixing again, stick to our own houses – we can still Facetime.
“I just don’t think people understand the importance of it right now.”
Maggie Dyer lives outside of the city in Toton, and says she has been avoiding coming in due to her concerns.
The 56-year-old who was only making a trip for an appointment, said: “I came on the tram against my better judgement – it got progressively busier as I got nearer the city.
“I think restrictions should be brought in as soon as possible.
“It seems crazy given the data suggests it needs to happen now to wait until after the weekend.
“I also think it should be the whole county and not just the city.”
James Hallam, 42, was heading in to work on a floor-laying job in the city.
He said: “I’m in Hucknall but even there the rate is not great, but these restrictions could be hard for us self-employed.
“I think the worst thing at the moment is the transport situation but I know they are doing what they can.
“Seeing the rate go up, I think people just don’t realise how easy [Covid-19] is to catch so more restrictions are probably needed.”
Helen Clark of Wollaton said she was “fed up” of the whole situation and wants the Government to make decisions quicker.
The 76 year old said: “I don’t think [the Government] know what they’re doing, they just seem to keep changing their mind.
“We need some sort of progress. Where I live I don’t think people are being careful enough.
“I do feel safe, because you can’t worry all the time, you’ve got to live your life.
“But restrictions are needed, I just hope it doesn’t mean we can’t travel.”
Owner of the Hockley Kitchen and city resident, Kevin Wright, said the current situation for Nottingham was “very confusing”.
“It’s just not clear but I think a lockdown or restrictions is inevitable really, there’s been talks of this tier system and possibly Nottingham would be tier two.
“I just don’t understand the delay.
“We need to get things in place so we can start to adapt and move on.
“Given the number of cases we’re seeing, it’s clear something dramatic is needed.”
Speaking of what he thought had led to the sharp spike, he said: “I think some people may have got complacent – from Eat Out to Help Out, students and schools returning, perhaps we fell back into normality too much.
“I don’t think it helps having the council advise us, because people [feel they] can just ignore it – we need proper Government restrictions.”
Mr Wright added: “I do think for anyone running a small business now, lockdown would be a nightmare.
“I’ve already noticed in the past week, numbers of people in the city are dropping already.
“If they decide to do anything like what’s happening in Manchester, venues will just close.
“There’s only three weeks left of furlough too.”
Joe Sherwin, 22, has been in Nottingham less than a month after leaving his hometown in Cardiff to study at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).
The part-time barista at Kigali Coffee in Hockley said: “The area I have come from was already in lockdown – it spiked just like it did here.
“It hasn’t overly shocked me, I sort of anticipated it with students returning.
“I think people do need to hear it from the Government to stop mixing.
“In Lenton, I’m not seeing people getting together but there’s a lot of cars outside each house.
“I have mixed feelings on restrictions especially for students, when you look at cases in relation to deaths.
“Students are already really struggling and more restrictions could be very hard for their mental health.”