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Bamboozle Your Bubble with this Hilarious Norwich Road Name Game | ABC Taxis

Who in the world names a road ‘Rampant Horse Street’? No-one, apparently. No-one apart from Norwich.

It doesn’t take a detective to notice that Norwich is full of weird road names. And why wouldn’t it be? Home to whoever’s ‘back alley’ was famous enough to warrant its own road name, our city- our county, even, has a rich history chocked-full of interesting characters. So, if you’ve paid attention in primary school, you might already know the story behind many of our road names.

But let’s face it, primary school was years ago. We’re not going to remember every single history lesson. Details get muddled. Numbers, names, faces get mixed around. Let alone the fact that Norwich has much more roads than we had history lessons.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with our own muddy memories.

Boy and Girl Walking on Bridge during Daytime

2021 is underway along with a shiny new lockdown. While this means pubs, bars and cafes are closed along with cinemas, gyms and barbers, there’s the all-important provision of being able to go outside to exercise either by ourselves, with our household, or with our legally permitted support or childcare bubbles. 

For those required to travel a little bit further to travel to their bubbles, ABC Taxis are the safest way to travel thanks to our added health and safety guidelines to make your journey as hygienic and possible.

One of the only outdoor activities we can do as a bubble is have a walk, so we made up a fun little game to play in our bubbles.

The Game

If you haven’t seen the hit BBC One comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?, we’re going to do a massive favour for you and recommend you check it out. On the show, Host Rob Brydon (Uncle Bryn from Gavin and Stacy) is joined by an eccentric panel made up of two teams British comedians and the occasional celebrity guest. In each round, one team tells a story and the other team has to guess whether or not it’s a truth or a lie. Each story is packed full of hilarious details, some of which turn out to be true! Just like Rob Brydon’s panel of comedians and celebrities, each street in Norwich has a crazy story behind it.

Do you see where this is going?

brown and white concrete building during night time

In this Norwich roads edition of Would I Lie to You? you and your friend or family’s knowledge of our city’s history (or your ability to make it up) is going to be tested. As you’re taking your daily walk with your support or childcare bubble, take a crack dazzling or bewildering your walking partner with a crazy story about the people whose names make up the streets we walk on. Bonus points if you get them to believe an insanely obvious lie or tell a true story so mad they don’t believe you!

Here’s a few to get you started:

St Julian’s Alley

Truth or Lies?: St. Julian was a mystic from the middle ages known for the wild visions that came to her during her self-isolation in the midst of a global pandemic.

Answer: True. Despite sounding like a story haphazardly made-up unsubtly inspired by the events going on around us, Julian of Norwich is famous for her extraordinary visions including seeing a walnut and understanding it to be the whole world.

Spynke Road

Truth or Lies?: Named after Richard Spynke, who was contracted to complete the city walls in the 1330s. One of his main requests form the city was to make sure people couldn’t use the walls as a launderette

Answer: True. If you’ve spent seven years and most of your own pocket to finish the city walls, you wouldn’t want people hanging their laundry on it, would you? In his contract he made sure the city was responsible for keeping people’s clothes off of the walls.

George Fox Way and Augustus Hare Drive

Truth or Lies?: These two connected roads were named after Beatrix Potter’s lesser-known dynamic duo of woodland detectives. She came up with these two characters on a visit to the Norfolk Coast and her car was stolen. Luckily, two helpful coppers were on duty to help her and her car was found. Always on the eye for a good tale (get it?), she noticed one copper’s cunning, sleuth-like manner and the other’s friendly twitching and used the experience to write a story.

brown rabbit standing on green grass field
Augustus Hare

Answer: Lie. Besides the fact that it’s not a policeman’s job to solve crimes, George Fox was an English dissenter who founded the Royal Society of Friends in 1624 and Augustus Hare was an English writer and from 1834 who wrote about his encounters with Norwich’s Lords but, more interestingly, the ghosts he’d encounter during his stay in Earlham Hall.

What is true is that when I lived in the University Village, right next to these connected roads, I thought they both came from the same children’s book. Two people with animal surnames connected by geography despite the fact that they had no connection to each other and lived over 200 years apart. Who knows what the city planners at the time? Beatrix Potter’s two made-up sleuths could probably work it out.

Opie Street

Truth or Lie?: Opie Street used to be called Holdhorn Lane.

Answer: False. The original name was much worse.

Hemming Way

Truth or Lies?: This road was one of the first created after UNESCO dubbed Norwich a City of Literature. In celebration of this accolade, this road was named after For Whom the Bell Tolls writer Ernest Hemingway. One of the greatest ‘dad-jokes’ a city has ever pulled.

Answer: Haven’t the slightest. After years of Googling, there’s still no clue as to what this road was named after.

And that’s where we come in. Any time we come across a road so enigmatically titled, we can always fill the blanks with a, shall we say, alternative truth. So, after you use ABC Taxis to get to your support bubble, take a look at the roads around you and either get busy truthin’ or get busy lyin’.

Road names to look out for:

  • Unicorn Yard
  • Booty Road
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Adam and Eve Yard
  • Lower Goat Lane
  • Ice House Lane
  • Stranger’s Court

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ABC Taxi’s Guide To Exciting Open-Air Art In Norwich

Art is everywhere in our Fine City. Whilst some of our favourite galleries can’t be with us right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t marvel at the amazing talent that the artists in our area have put on display for our enjoyment. Inside and out, there is so much colour in Norwich.

Today, we’re taking a minute to appreciate the wonderful installations that decorate our daily walks.

St Stephen’s Underpass – The Underground Gallery

@Holietoldmeto painting her contribution to this exciting gallery

Curated by local street artist and pineapple enthusiast, Ruth Knapp, St Stephen’s underpass is home to an eclectic and diverse collection of wall art known as The Underground Gallery. The gallery celebrates the wealth of visual talent that sparks excitement in our city and is bred by the abundance of inspiration that Norwich has to offer.

It’s a dynamic installation that changes constantly. After all, new art is bursting at the scenes here in Norwich. No matter what your tastes, you’re sure to find something you love and something that tugs at your curiosity: abstract shapes, faithful portraits, humorous manifestos and touching tributes. This roundabout is proud to show-off the many different styles that make up Norwich’s pool of talent.

City of Stories Murals 

PF16
By Poppy Cole

Norwich has a proud history of fantastic stories and wonderful characters. It’s only right that we should celebrate them! The Norwich BID has enlisted the help of some of our amazing visual storytellers to throw up vibrant murals that pay tribute to our rich history of storytelling.

Credit VisitNorwich Mural White Lion Street 003
Malca Shotten’s Snapdragon, Red Lion Street

Each mural taps into Norwich’s prolific historical background. You might have been greeted by a certain friendly face that watches over Red Lion street. Dragons have always been a companion to Norwich, a friendship dating back all the way to the middle ages.

Some of these murals transport us back in time to the medieval period which is historically notorious for not having any global pandemics whatsoever. Simple times. Arcade Street is home to Joey LaMeche’s time-bending tribute to Norwich’s bustling market. Featuring Norwich favourites such as Queen Boudicca herself, Joey’s mural feels like walking into a magical storybook.

Castle Mural Joey
Joey LaMeche, Arcade Street

Recently, a whole lot more of these murals have popped up in our famous market. Some of these murals were created by Norwich schools and other organisations that help breed artistic talent for future generations of artists. These murals celebrate the past, comment on the present and lay out our hopes for the future. 

All over Norwich we are proud of our history and tell it vibrantly.

Grapes Hill Underpass

Let’s take a look at a more chaotic, free-flowing site of art in our city.

Grapes Hill’s graffiti might not have the same prestige as our previous hotspots, but the energy of this place is undeniable. To through a tunnel where the art talks with and over each other is an amazing display of how artists communicate through their medium. To those less familiar with graffiti, take a look at where each tag is placed relative to others. You start seeing friends, cliques, big fish, followers. You start seeing characters, relationships. If you keep coming back, you see stories.

It’s a romantic way to see splats of paint, but with clubs and pubs not operating as normal, where else are we going to see this kind of Saturday night drama but in a tunnel crowded with colourful shouts?

Pineapple Hunting

Slideshow image 22
“Middle Class Vandal” Ruth “Knapple” Knapp

Earlier we mentioned the curator of the underground gallery, Ruth Knapp. She’s also known as the ubiquitous artist “Knapple”. If that name is familiar to you, it’s because it’s everywhere. If not her name, her iconic trademark: A colourful pineapple.

You can take a walk far away from the city centre and still spot these tags everywhere you go. Even without going far, tunnels, abandoned buildings and secret alleys all have a high chance of attracting Knapple’s artistic eye.

She’ll even paint your bins if you like! Wherever you go in the city, Knapple has made it her mission to fill our streets with colour and dazzle our eyes with vibrant renditions of her favourite fruit.

We challenge you to see how many pineapples you can spot on your daily walks. We guarantee you’ll lose count.

Anglia Buskin’

@TheHighPointsBand outside London Street

We don’t know when gigs will come back and how. Will there be moshing? Will there be dancing? Will we all be in hamster balls?

Lockdown can’t keep a good band down. Whether you nip out to the city for your lunch break or you’re on your weekend shop, the music of Norwich’s buskers are always an uplifting sound for weary ears.

Since new buskers are always popping up, the soundscape of Gentleman’s walk and London Street never gets stale. Plenty of folks have been going out of their way to catch the funkadelic stylings of The High Points, who perform near Jarrold’s with insanely energetic jams. The beat is infectious and you’ll always catch yourself strutting to the rhythm. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one as the whole street is full of people tapping their feet to the talented group.

That’s not to say we’ll ever fall out of love with our musical mainstays. Somethings should never change. Whether it’s the classical stylings of guitarist Pete Turrell, the folk sounds of Emma O’Reilly or many more of our familiar faces, we’re definitely glad to hear these songbirds sing throughout quarantine.

If you have a favourite busker, let us know!

These are only some of the hotspots for seeking out colour in the open air. With the city always moving, there are bound to be new places to find art being thrown up as we speak! The only way to see these new pieces pop up is to get yourself down to the centre and have a ramble. Thanks to Facebook Messenger, getting a ride to the centre of town has never been easier. Whether you want to book or ask for a quote, just send us a message and we’ll have a quick chat.

There’s also time to have a look at some of the fun Christmas activities put on all over the county. Merry Christmas from all of us here at ABC Taxis.

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ABC Taxis Guide to a very Norfolk Christmas

Lockdown is lifting and with it our Christmas spirits! While Norfolk going into tier two means we can’t celebrate with more than 6 people, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate at all!

All over the county, Santa’s Elves have been cooking up safe, responsible, socially-distanced ways for families all over Norfolk and Norwich to feel some festive cheer. We know that with all the changes that have been happening, opportunities like this are easy to miss. That’s why ABC Taxis have done all the holiday planning for you so you don’t miss out on making the most of this Christmas.

Here are some of the ways of ending 2020 with a bang:

See the Lights

Photo of People on Road at Night
Let 2020 be forgotten and enjoy the Christmas lights

Is it really Christmas without a wave of light-tunnel pictures hitting our feeds?

You heard right. The famous Norwich Tunnel of Lights is back for its fifth year in our city. The largest tunnel of its kind, this enchanting display made up of 57,000 LED bulbs and 5.6 miles of cabling will be here until January. All 45 metres will be dazzling our eyes with added social-distancing measures to ensure our safety.

As presents go, the biggest box there is in Norwich is our iconic castle. In the heart of our city, spectacular light displays will illuminate the 954-year-old tower for all to marvel at. These mind-bending displays from Double-Take projections have always transformed our castle into a magical box of gigantic fun.

The Norfolk Lights Express has also extended its time with us, sticking around til the 17th of January. Lasting an hour, this magnificent train ride aboard a neon steam train will take us through North Norfolk’s beautiful countryside which has been illuminated and transformed into a picturesque wonderland. Enjoy classic Christmas snacks and hot drinks such as mulled wine and hot chocolate. Loved by folks of all ages, the electric atmosphere of the Lights Express is not to be missed!

Thursford has put together a one-off spectacular just for this year! The Enchanted Journey of Light, opening on the 3rd of December, is an immersive light and sound experience jam-packed with fairytale characters. Full of awe-inspiring scenery, Thursford’s beautiful show is bound to leave you enthralled.

Giving gifts to our friends and family

group of people standing near amusement park
Treat your friends and family to handmade artisanal presents

We can’t all be together all at once this year. Now, more than ever, have we needed unique, thoughtful presents to show our loved ones we’re thinking of them. Fortunately, there is no shortage of artists around our county and Christmas Markets are the place to find them.

The Christmas Fayre at the Royal Norfolk Showground will be showcasing a variety of amazing businesses all local to Norfolk. For more artisanal creations straight out of Santa’s workshop, St Andrew’s Hall is hosting the Norwich Creative Market for ‘The Big One’ featuring amazing handmade gifts with love stitched into every print and thread.

Or instead, why not make a Christmas gift for those who’ve gotten you through this crazy year? The Maid’s Head Hotel is offering the chance for you to create your own unique Christmas wreath in a workshop led by an experienced florist. This experience comes with a glass of prosecco and a cream team of homemade scones that is sure to be a wonderfully creative afternoon.

With so many places to shop, your friends and family will be sure to feel the love this Christmas.

Go to a show

Pantos with a twist!

Is there a better way to experience the magic of Christmas than to immerse yourself in the wondrous atmosphere of a live show?

Norwich’s vast landscape of theatres has you covered. Classic panto? Panto in a Pickle at the Theatre Royal is a jumbled box of fairy-tale magic introducing unpredictable twists to our favourite stories. Speaking of twists, A Circus Carol is bound to be a romp, reimagining Dickens’ classic tale and adding daring acrobatics. Or perhaps you’d like to watch another reimagining of A Christmas Carol from the warmth of your home. Norwich-based Amplify Theatre and Film are treating us to a timely comedy web-series arriving on our screens on the 1st of December.

Or maybe you’d like a Christmas as bonkers as the rest of this year and take your family to Roar! Dinosaur Adventure’s Roar-some Christmas experience. Dinosaurs have never looked so merry as Roar’s programme of festive activities will be rife with excitement.

No matter where you choose to go this Christmas, our county is full of fun, festive, socially distanced activities for all the family. ABC Taxis is not only the safest way to get around this Christmas with all of our added COVID measures, but it’s also never been easier with our new Facebook Messenger feature, allowing you to book a taxi from your Facebook Messenger app. It’s easy! To get started all you have to do is send our Facebook page a message and our system will guide you through your request. Whether you want to book a journey, or are looking for a quote, Facebook Messenger is an easy way to get in touch with your favourite local taxi company.

Booking a taxi has never been easier.

Santa has another little helper in Norfolk delivering you to your magical winter memories. Our gift this year is our commitment to eco-friendly transport and our goal to offset our carbon emissions. To keep in line with health and safety procedures, may of these events require you to book in advance. This means that these venues will have a clearer idea of numbers and make these experiences as safe as possible. Don’t delay! Christmas is a few weeks away, but you can have a wonderful time with your friends and family even sooner.

Merry Christmas from ABC Taxis.

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Things To Do in Norwich Throughout November

It’s a crazy world we’re living in and every single day has been coined some sort of “National Day Of…” something or other.  Tomorrow happens to be National Chocolate Day and Champagne Day and with things to look forward to such as National Deep Fried Clams Day and National french dip day just around the corner. We’ve put together a guide of how you can really make the most of November.

National Calzone Day (November 1st)

National Calzone Day is celebrated on the 1st November

Take the delectable aroma of garlic and tomato sauce and add authentic Italian ingredients to a thick layer of cheese and fold over to create a hot delicious parcel of flavour that is hard to beat.  Originating in Naples the Calzone dough is infused with butter and garlic and smothered in homemade sauces with Italian herbs and spices that give an unmistakably Italian authenticity to every calzone recipe.

Norwich boasts a multitude of fine Italian dining serving some exquisite Calzone.  Try Trattoria Rustica on Princes Street for a taste of true Italy, with the family-run business serving some of the most authentic Italian cuisines in the city.  Alternatively, Donnellis Pizzeria on Timber Hill is a great all Italian dining experience.

International Stout Day (First Thursday in November) 

International Stout Day is celebrated on the first Thursday of November

Stouts were derived from porters in the 1700s, and since then have become one of the most sought after tipples.  They were so popular in fact that on November 3, 2011, stouts were dedicated an entire day to be celebrated and International Stout Day was born. Typically strong and flavoursome a stout is a beer that should be sipped and savoured.

Norwich boasts some award-winning stout creators such as S&P Brewery responsible for the Darkest Hour Stout brew that has been awarded CAMRA’s Silver Award for Norfolk Stout 2019 and is available at locations such as The Kings Head on Magdelen Street, The Leopard on Bull Close Road and The Trafford Arms on Grove Road.  Brewdog is located in the centre of the city on Queen Street and boasts a varied selection of stouts to please any taste.  Lastly, the Fat Cat is a great venue to enjoy home brewed stout and is located on Lawson Road.

National Nacho’s day – (5th November)

National Nachos Day is celebrated on the 5th November

Nachos are hot, spicy, cheesy and very messy and since their creation has become one of the worlds favourite snacks. Originating in 1943, Piedras Negras, Mexico when wives of American soldiers visited the maitre d’hotel, named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya and was asked him to feed them. All he had were some tortillas chips, shredded cheese and some pickled jalapeno peppers, the rest is history.

Celebrate international Nachos day in style in one of the many amazing Mexican restaurants Norwich has to offer. Two of the most notable being the Jive Kitchen & Bar on  Exchange Street, and Gringos Nacho Factory that hosts a Pop Up Service on Thursdays located all around the county and a pickup and sit down service in Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar on Prince of Wales on Fridays.

Homemade Bread Day (17th November)

National Homemade Bread Day is celebrated on the 17th of November

November 17, sees homes filled with the irresistible aroma of homemade bread. Those who are experienced in baking homemade bread insist on using quality ingredients and making them with love. Homemade bread will enrich the flavour of any meals and is symbolised across cultures and religions around the world as something of great value.

Take Norwich’s very own ‘Bread Source’ the self-proclaimed artisan bakery selling artisan, additive-free bread, pastries and buns.  These guys take their bread making very seriously and are passionate about the detail involved in creating the perfect loaf.  Their baked goods can be found at the Bakery Counter, Marriott Close, at their bakery on Upper St Giles, Bridleway Alley and Norwich Market.   Also providing some tasty home-baked bread made with love are Crusty Corner Bakery in Norwich an independent family run Bakery offering delicious freshly baked bread, handmade cakes and lots more baked treats.   Crusty Corner is located on Bell Road, Norwich. 

Another artisan bakery centred in the heart of Norwich is Dozen Bakery on Gloucester St.  All of their bread is made using Marriage’s Organic Strong Stoneground flour, delicious French butter bakery boasts a fine selection of bread, pastries local and European cheeses, Norfolk honey, Norfolk homemade jams and chutneys and much more.

National Espresso Day (23rd November)

National Esspresso Day is celebrated on the 23rd of November

The word espresso (/ɛˈsprɛsoʊ/;) means ‘quick in time in Italian and derives from its origins of being a coffee expressly made to order.   It is traditionally made using the most freshly roasted and ground coffee beans.  Over time we have come to recognise the espresso as a strong brew served in a smaller cup.  Norwich boasts a vast selection of wonderful cafes to help you celebrate this day. Check out our list of 10 Irresistible Cafes And Restaurants To Visit In Norwich for a great guide of where to go for a coffee around the city.

Other Things To Enjoy

Enjoy The Norfolk Festive Gift and Food Show from Friday 13th November to Sunday 15th November @ the Norfolk Showground Arena.

Along with all these wonderful ways to celebrate this November there are also some events happening that will get you in the mood for Christmas.  From Friday 13th November to Sunday 15th November @ the Norfolk Showground Arena. The Norfolk Festive Gift and Food Show host 3 days of festive shopping and food & drink. Widely enjoyed as one of the region’s number one Christmas shopping markets, This year will see certain restrictions put in place to tackle the spread of COVID-19 full loads of fun to be had by the whole family.

ABC Taxis are proud to have partnered with our friends at Roarr Dinosaur Adventure! And are now offering a discounted fare of just £15 one way for a 4 seater car and £22.50 for a 6 seater mini-bus from Norwich City centre.  A full list of events taking place at the park can be found on the Roarr Dinosaur Adventure Website

Having just secured a “lifeline” rescue package worth £3m from the government. Norwich Theatre runs Norwich Theatre Royal,  the Playhouse and Stage Two and has is again playing host to some amazing shows and performances in the lead up to the festive season.  Make sure you check out the Theatre Royal website for listings and booking.

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ABC Taxis | Covid-19 Restrictions Explained

Towards the end of September, the government announced new measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus.  We are coming towards the end of the first year of ‘new normality’, a daunting prospect that is necessary to curb the rise of infections and keep the ever-present R number below 1.  So ABC Taxis are here to clarify the new restrictions, laws and guidance as of October 2020. Also to point you in the right direction of any useful resources you may require to feel confident and informed whilst maintaining a healthy and engaging lifestyle.

Wash Hands
wash your hands regularly 
Cover Face.
Wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
Make Space.
Stay at least 2 metres apart

Social Contact

One of the main initiatives in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 is the restriction of social contact.  The government provides detailed guidance on socialising with other people safely but here is a basic breakdown.

Visiting people indoors.

People who don’t live with each other are allowed to socialise in groups of 6.  However social distancing should be maintained.  Exemptions from this limit include larger households and support bubbles. 

Meeting people outdoors.

The same rules apply for meeting people outdoors as indoors.  Social distancing must be maintained and the number of people in a group must still be limited to 6.  However, if your household or support group is larger than this limit then that number is the largest permitted number of people you are allowed to meet with at any one time.

Are children included in the group of 6.  

Yes children are absolutely included in the group of 6.  

Can i use public transport? 

ABC Taxis has a stringent disinfection procedure and follows strict measures to help tackle the spread of the virus.  All customers are advised to wear a face-covering while travelling with ABC Taxis.  Plus we provide contactless payments and a convenient passenger booking app that is available from the Google Play Store and Apple Store.

Download the ABC Taxis Passenger Booking App.

So providing the number of people you attend with is limited to no more than 6, and the venue is COVID-19 Secure, you are able to conduct a fairly normal lifestyle;

Here are some day to day activities you are still able to do whilst observing the rule of 6;

  • Staying overnight in somebody else’s house
  • Looking after the grandchildren
  • Visit most indoor and outdoor tourist sites
  • Play organised sports
  • Go Shopping, visit the bank, post office 
  • Day trips
  • Send teenagers to their youth club
  • Visiting Restaurants, Pubs and Places of Worship
  • Go to hobby club, musical rehearsal and other leisure activities
  • Go to support group
  • Send your child to school
  • Attending Weddings, Civil Partnerships and Funerals Ceremonies* 

*Subject to a maximum limit of 15 people (not including those working at the event) for Weddings, Wedding Receptions and Civil Partnerships.  With a seated only rule applied to wedding receptions.  Funerals are limited to a maximum of 30 people attending with individual funeral providers limiting capacity based on the ability to accommodate social distancing within the space of the funeral location. 

Guidance on wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships can be found here.

Guidance on Funerals can be found here.

Should i feel comfortable going back to my workplace?

It is advised that office workers who can work effectively remotely should work from home over the winter. However the UK Government states that “public sector employees working in essential services including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary”.  

What if i am clinically extremely vulnerable?

For people who are clinically extremely vulnerable you should feel safe to go back to work providing measures have been put in place by your employer to ensure that your workplace is COVID-19 Secure.  How it is advised that you should continue to work from home wherever possible.

But of course, there is some ambiguity with what is permitted on a city by city basis with the introduction of Local Covid alert levels. 

Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know

The government’s ongoing commitment to reducing the spread of the virus has led to a dynamic containment framework to manage outbreaks.  The main aim of the initiative is to empower local authorities to act upon the earliest stages of localised COVID-19 incidents and to intervene with the correct procedures and protocol at the right time.  Your local area will be assigned a COVID alert level ranging from Medium to Very High and restrictions will be in place accordingly based on that level.  

Check the local COVID alert level of your postcode to find out what restrictions are in place in your location.

Local COVID alert level: medium

  • The number of people allowed to socialise is limited to 6 in a group.  This applies to indoor and outdoor meetings other than where an exemption applies.
  • Provided businesses put measures in place to ensure they are COVID-Secure they can continue to operate.
  • Businesses that serve food and drink must close between 10 pm and 5 am and customers must be seated whilst they consume their purchases.
  • businesses and venues offering food can operate after 10 pm providing it is facilitated through delivery, click and collect or a drive-through.
  • schools and universities are open.
  • places of worship are open.
  • Weddings, wedding receptions and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the numbers of people allowed to attend.
  • Indoor and outdoor exercise classes and organised sports can continue to operate providing the rule of 6 is observed.

Local COVID alert level: high

In addition to the restrictions in place at Covid alert level medium the following measures will be in place.

  • You can not meet with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any public or private indoor location.
  • Socialising outside in groups in excess of 6 people is prohibited other than where specific exemptions apply.
  • Some businesses are still closed by law.  All other businesses and venues can continue to operate providing measures are in place to ensure that they are COVID-secure.
  • You can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to use means of transport that reduce the amount of time you spend in close proximity to people, such as an ABC Taxi.

Local COVID alert level: very high

Areas with a very high level of infections will see tighter restrictions put in place. These restrictions can vary between areas so please make sure you check the specific rules in your location.  In addition to the restrictions in place at Covid alert level high, the following baseline measures will be in place.

  • Pubs and bars will be closed unless substantial meals are served.  Alcohol may only be served as part of that meal.
  • Schools and universities will continue to operate.
  • Places of worship will be open, but mixing between households is prohibited.
  • Weddings and Funerals will be allowed to take place but with a limit to the number of people attending. 
  • Wedding receptions are prohibited.
  • Travelling into or out of a very-high alert level area should be kept to a minimum wherever possible.

As well as these baseline measures, local authorities may impose further restrictions in order to reduce the rate of infection. These additional interventions could include the following:

  • Further restrictions to the hospitality industry.
  • The temporary closing of venues of entertainment and local tourist attractions.
  • Leisure centres and gyms closed.
  • The closing of some community initiatives and centres such as libraries and youth clubs.

Useful Links

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10 Irresistable Cafes And Restaurants To Visit In Norwich.

Norwich is a fine city with its scattered cobbled lanes, historic architecture and stunning riverside views.  We are widely known for our university, Alan Partridge, crabs and mustard, but Norwich also boasts some amazing locations to eat and enjoy a wonderful dining experience. From Vegan cuisine through to sushi, it’s all here amongst our list of the best places to eat in Norwich.  So as lockdown lifts and local restaurants open their doors to welcome you back, it’s time to scrub up, order yourself an ABC Taxi and go and safely and responsibly enjoy yourselves.  

Blue Joanna

Blue Joanna, Unthank Road, Norwich

Located in the heat of the Norwich golden triangle on Unthank Road Blue Joanna have just reopened their doors and invite you to enjoy authentic Asian style street food and unique cocktails, all whilst enjoying the ambience of classic vinyl records playing or often the slick sounds of the live blues piano that sits in the main dining area.

The Wallow

The Wallow, Exchange Street, Norwich

The Wallow is a somewhat unique dining experience heavily focussed on an amazing selection of wines that changes regularly.  Offering a wide selection of gourmet meat, fish cheese and antipasti this is a fantastic place to eat with friends for an informal relaxed evening tasting wine and sharing platters.  For vegetarians The Wallow offers a stunning cheese and veggie board.  The state of the art wine chiller sits centre stage and is designed to maintain the optimum temperature for the hand picked wine selection from around the world.


William & Florence

William and Florence, Unthank Road, Norwich

Another gem found in the heart of Unthank Road is William & Florence featuring delicious grazing boards, homemade pates and terrines and local smoked fish as well as irresistible vegetarian and vegan alternatives.  On Sundays the William & Florence hosts their famous classic roast again offering vegan and vegetarian alternatives.  

Jorges

Jorges, Orford Yard, Red Lion Street, Norwich

For truly authentic modern Portugese cuisine, book a table at Jorges off Red Lion Street hidden away in Orford Yard.  This cosy restaurant features a stunning open kitchen and outdoor courtyard for al fresco dining.  Serving seasonal tapas, meat and seafood and offering the widest selection of the finest Portuguese wine in Norwich.

Woolf And Social 

Woolf & Social, Nelson Street, Norwich

Offering seasonal sharing platters and small plates and using the best locally sourced ingredients, Woolf & Social offers an exquisite artisan dining experience.  With an extensive brunch menu the Woolf & Socials take on British cuisine is all about sharing and the restaurant is inspired by the traditional idea of a social club.   With decor designed by artist Atelier Grove, and a wine list curated by Rupert Taylor the Woolf & Social the attention to detail is evident from the walls to the plate.

Shiki

Shiki, Tombland, Norwich

Bringing authentic Japanese cuisine to the heart of Norfolk Shiki uses the finest local ingredients to create a delicious offering of sushi to yakitori.  With over 16 years behind them Shiki is a great place to dine whether you’re on a date,  celebrating or entertaining clients.  Offering Otsumami sharing platters that feature a little bit of everything for everyone to share you can expect quality japanese cuisine on your doorstep.

Ciscoes

Ciscoes, Ber St, Norwich

Francisco ‘Cisco’ Papica found his love for cooking in a busy kitchen in the Philippines.  Surrounded by some of the Philippines top chefs Francisco grew an adoration for the art, a love that now manifests itself within the walls of ‘Ciscoes’.  A Pan Asian and sushi restaurant serving mouth watering far eastern dishes located on Ber Street, Norwich.  Offering a great vegan and vegetarian range of meals as well as gluten-free alternatives, everyone is sure to find something they like.

The Waffle House

The Waffle House, St Giles Street, Norwich

Located on St Giles Street Norwich The Waffle House has to be one of Norwich’s favourite places to eat.   Established in 1978, these guys know a thing or two about waffles.  In all seriousness, the quality of the ingredients and the light crispy waffles is really what makes speaks volumes.  Using only fresh produce there is equal emphasis on vegetarian dishes on the menu as well as gluten free waffles.  The Waffle House is a great casual dining location in the centre of the city that is a winner whatever the time of day or season.

Tofurei

Tofurei, St Gregory’s Alley, Norwich

Tofurei presents an exclusively soya based menu creating many wonderful dishes from the humble bean.  They offer a wide range of savoury vegan comfort food through to cakes and sweet treats.  Using East Anglian grown soya their Lenwade based factory is the only place in the UK producing British tofu and soya milk. Based in Pottergate with a quaint deli and cafe with outdoor seating, why not head into town and meet up with friends to share a soya ice cream or enjoy a hot drink and treat yourself to a savoury pastry from the deli.

The Tipsy Vegan

The Tipsy Vegan, St Benedicts Street, Norwich

Looking for somewhere to meet for a casual brunch with friends, or perhaps tapas and cocktails on one of those sunny days.   The Tipsy Vegan is the perfect city-centre meet-up location to catch up with those people you’ve missed over lockdown.  Everything on the menu is vegan and features light bites, burgers, tapas and cocktails. Keen emphasis on high quality ingredients makes each dish unique and innovative and with almost everything made from scratch in The Tipsy Vegan kitchen.  Expect some of the finest vegan dining Norwich has to offer. 

Don’t forget to check the websites of any restaurants you’re planning on visiting for changes in service and the expectations of the public, related to the government’s guidelines on coronavirus for restaurants, cafes and take away services.  

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Are We Ready For Lockdown To End, What Shops Are Reopening And What Social Distancing Measures Can I Expect When Shopping

From 15th June all non essential shops were allowed to reopen

From June 15th all the non-essential shops opened for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown took effect.  

It has been a challenging time for ABC Taxis and most independent businesses and high street retailers alike. But as part of the Government’s three-stage plan to ease lockdown measures, retailers are allowed to reopen, providing “they are meeting COVID-secure guidelines”.  

This plan is “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus” and will be sustained providing the government continues to meet the “five tests” that indicate the Corna-19 virus reproduction rate (the R rate) is falling

These tests include;

1. Making sure the NHS can cope. 

Boris Johnson previously stated, “We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.”  Following the peak of the outbreak at the beginning of April, and thanks to the amazing NHS staff the data shows that this test is now being met.

The Government is now confident of the NHS’s ability to cope moving forward

2. Seeing a “sustained and consistent” fall in the daily death rate; 

This was the second test and on Thursday Mr Johnson announced that he is “confident” that the peak of the daily death rate has passed.   Official figures published by the government last week state that deaths related to Covid-19 have been the lowest that they’ve been in 9 weeks.  This consistent and sustained fall in the death rate means that the second test is being met.

We have seen a continuing fall in Covid-19 related deaths.

3. Reliable data from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to show that the rate of infection was decreasing to manageable levels across the board.

The Prime Minister has stated that in the second week of June there was an average of 2,312 cases, which is down from 5,066 in the first week of May. 

With the number of new cases of Coronavirus “decreasing to manageable levels across the board” the Government is satisfied that the third test is being met.

4. PPE and Testing Capacity

Ensuring the UK has the capacity to undertake testing, provide sufficient PPE and be capable of sustaining future demand for protective equipment are the factors that need to be achieved in order for the fourth test to be met.  

The Government has contracted over 100 suppliers from the UK and around the world to produce two billion PPE items for the UK. This means the stocks of PPE will start to rebuild and with ‘Public Health England’ having conducted over 115,000 tests compared to around 12,000 at the start of April, the Government is comfortable that the fourth test has been met.

5. Prevention Of A Second Wave

The final test poses the biggest challenge of all.  To avoid a second wave of Coronavirus the infamous R value must be kept below 1.  Meaning that every person who contracts the virus must infect fewer than one person.   

A “package” of measures has been set out by Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chrris Whitty to ease the social and financial effects of the lockdown.  

The package includes the phased reopening of public institutes such as schools as well as non-essential high street retail outlets.  Social distancing measures must be in place and guidelines adhered to.

The recent announcement that pubs, clubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen from July 4th means that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Things are beginning to get back to normality and most non-essential retailers in Norwich have already reopened their doors. All of which have special measures in place to comply with social distancing regulations.  Some of these stores include;

John Lewis:

Richard Marks Partner and Head of John Lewis’ Norwich branch states on the website “I can’t tell you how much pleasure it gives me to welcome you back to John Lewis & Partners, Norwich. I want to reassure you that we aim to offer our usual high level of service in the safest possible way.”  

Debenhams:

Debenhams have reopened 50 of their stores with new safety steps in place. These steps include limiting the number of customers in-store at any one time and providing hand sanitiser for staff and customers as well as fitted perspex screens at checkouts and the contactless limit has been increased to £45.

House Of Fraser:

Following the Government’s announcement last week, House Of Fraser have “been working extremely hard behind the scenes to make sure that every one of our stores will be compliant with Government guidelines when we reopen.”

Currys:

Currys opened 19 of its stores on May 22 on a drive-through collection-only basis. Their stores are now open as a Tech Help Hub where you can come and talk to any member of their team for help & advice on your tech, plus help with returns and exchanges. Plus you can order online and collect your tech from the store as fast as the same day.

“Customers are simply asked to place their order online before driving and parking at one of the open outlets. Once they have confirmed through email their arrival, a staff member will then load the boot of the car with the purchased product. “

Ikea: 

Ikea collection point has been open since the 1st of June with new measures in place to adhere to Government guidelines.

Halfords;  

Having successfully implemented social distancing measures on its shop floors Halford reopened 53 of its outlets last month.

Greggs:

Greggs has reopened a small selection of shops to test out their new operational safety measures aimed to establish the best ways to serve their customers whilst keeping everyone safe.   The reopening of their stores will be staggered but they have started to reopen their shops and aim to open all shops with the new operational measures by July 1.

Boots:

Boots beauty counters have reopened although it’s pharmaceutical services have remained operational throughout the lockdown due to its status as an essential business.

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The new Lockdown rules explained.

As the UK begins to lift the restrictions of lockdown and we make our first tentative steps towards regaining some aspect of normality in our lives.  There is general uncertainty and a lack in consensus over what we are actually allowed to do, and how certain locations and organisers are expected to adapt and operate in a post-lockdown environment.  Here is a breakdown of the government’s new rules and a bit of clarity as to what you can and can’t do.

Can I visit family and friends?

From the 1st of June meeting with friends is permitted providing social distancing is maintained.

The answer is Yes.  From the 1st of June people from different households are allowed to meet in small ‘social bubbles’ of up to six individuals.  

This means that families in the UK can begin to reunite in public open spaces, and private gardens as long as social distancing rules are maintained and people stay 2 metres apart.  However, it is important to note that technically, although we are allowed to travel unlimited miles to visit family and friends, we are not yet allowed to stay overnight. Entering another household is only allowed for the purposes of accessing a back garden or using the toilet and all surfaces should be wiped down thoroughly and hands washed frequently. 

Can I go shopping?

Norwich Marketplace opens with a one way system and limited stalls as the lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted.

From the 1st of June Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that car showrooms and outdoor retail spaces such as Norwich Market will all be allowed to reopen and operate.  Here is an up to date list of the retailers operating in the Marketplace including any restrictions or changes to their services.

Providing the number of new Coronavirus cases continues to drop, from the 15th June, other non-essential shops and public locations that have put social distancing measures in place, will be allowed to open.  This includes tourist attractions and heritage sites as well as museums, theatres and libraries.

But it appears we’re going to have to wait a bit longer before we can visit the hairdressers.  Also Restaurants, pubs and cafes are still not allowed to be open to the public but are permitted to serve takeaway food.

Can I go outside without getting in trouble?

The governments advice is to safely go outside and get some fresh air.

As much (or as little) as you like.  There are no restrictions on the amount of time you can spend enjoying the sunshine, jogging, exercising or most other outdoor activities.  

Outdoor social pastimes such as tennis and golf can be enjoyed with people from your household and within your social bubble.  Maintain strict social distancing rules and you can spend time with up to 5 members of a different household.  But just be extra vigilant and aware of the surfaces you come into contact with and wash your hands regularly.

Many organised outdoor event and activities have been cancelled or are not yet able to open, but there are still lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors around Norfolk and maintain a safe 6 feet away from each other.

What about those who are in the high risk category?

Stay informed and make your own decision whether you are ready to start socialising with other people.

In England and Wales those who have previously been asked to shield themselves have been told that some “careful time outside in the fresh air is likely to make you feel better in yourself.”  Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals should of course continue to take extra precautions and may still choose to remain in their own home at all times if they don’t yet feel comfortable with any form of contact with others.  But as long as social distancing measures are maintained the general consensus is to get outside, breathe some fresh air and socialise with at least one other person.

Does this guidance apply to me? 

This guidance is for people of all ages who are at a greater risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19).   Most people who fall into this category should have received a letter from their GP or hospital clinician outlining their higher vulnerability to the virus and suitable guidance. 

If you are unsure of how this guidance relates to you or any member of your family then check out the UK Government’s official guidelines for the clinically extremely vulnerable. 

What’s going on with schools?

Created with GIMP

Schools are to start partially re-opening for children under 6 years old.   This means Nurseries and receptions will begin to operate albeit with reduced class sizes and strict measures put in place to enforce social distancing.  

Schools will also implement staggered breaks and from the 15th of June the government proposes starting classes for older pupils in year 10 – 12.  

Check out the UK Gov website for further advice about what parents and carers need to know about schools and nurseries during the coronavirus outbreak

Can I go on a day trip?

Day trips out are permitted but be aware that many public facilities including toilets are still closed.

Providing social distancing is maintained most public outdoor spaces are open for visitors.  However staying overnight at another household is not permitted and hotels are still closed.  It is also stated that play areas must not be used and be aware that public toilets are still closed.

It should be noted that fines for rulebreakers have been increased with first offence penalties being £100 (£50 if paid within 2 weeks) and the fee is doubled for every subsequent rule any individual is found to have breached.

That being said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and providing we all take care, life can begin to get back to normal.

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8 Lockdown Fundraising Ideas

Here at ABC, we are always keen to do what we can for charities and community projects.  Our recent pay-it-forward campaign aimed at providing NHS staff with transport to and from work has raised £2,770 to date. , Covid-19 has had a huge effect on our lives and has affected families throughout Norfolk.  Our current campaign aims to support the wonderful work Nelson’s Journey does. A fantastic local charity working tirelessly to support children and young people up to their 18th birthday who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life.    

Taking on a fundraising challenge not only helps change the lives of others but it can also be beneficial to our own health and mental well-being.  Research conducted by Harvard University found that people who contributed their own time and money into fundraising and charitable activities were “42 per cent more likely to be happy”.   Similar research from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that volunteering can improve our cardiovascular health and reduce blood pressure.

ABC Taxis charity campaign for Nelsons Journey
ABC Taxis Pay It Forward campaign for NHS Staff

Check out these eight awesome ways you can help charities and fundraise from home.

1. Donating your savings

Donating your savings can make a big impact

Some people have been fortunate enough to maintain an income through these unprecedented times. In some cases, the lack of commuting, gym memberships and a change in eating habits means that people are actually saving money. There’s certainly less money being spent on cafes, childcare, petrol and haircuts.

Are you making a saving? Why not pledge to donate some of your savings to ABC Taxis chosen charity and try and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

2. Lockdown hair cut

One day the hairdressers will reopen

Now we are by no means recommending you follow any online tutorials. But if you are isolated with family or flatmates then why not take the opportunity to ask for sponsorship for your hair to be cut by one of them.

Make a video and take photo’s of the event to share online so that all your supporters can see the results. Or check out this hilarious list of lockdown haircut fails if you’d prefer to simply laugh at other peoples attempts.

3. Challenge yourself!

Home workouts can have their pro’s and con’s.

It’s vital to maintain our physical health and look after our mental well being during the lockdown and staying fit and following exercise regimes have been proven to help with both. Check out the Fitness Programme section in our recent Blog 10 Things To Do At Home During Lockdown for some ideas of how to remain active while the gyms are closed and freedom is still somewhat restricted.

So give yourself a daily exercise challenge and set daily targets like the number of steps or a target distance, and ask your friends and family to sponsor you.

4. Gaming Tournament

Fortnite is one of the worlds leading online multiplayer games

Online gaming has obviously spiked whilst everyone has been told to stay at home. Challenge your friends to a gaming tournament. There are loads of popular titles so choose the game you want to play and host it on twitch. Ask your friends and family to participate, follow and donate.

5. Online club

Organising an online club can be rewarding and insightful

You can join a virtual club of virtually any kind these days (pun intended). Whether your interests lie in art, books, films, music, theatre, television or any other subject imaginable, you will find like-minded individuals online. Organise your own virtual club and discuss your favourite books and films with your family, friends and colleagues. Let people join for a small entry fee and give the proceeds to charity.

6. Organise an Online quiz

Organise an online quiz

Why not host an online pub quiz, break down your subjects and ask some tough trivia questions about each. Or ask all participants to upload video tours of their homes and play ‘Whose house is this’. This is a fun intellectual challenge for your family and friends and you can ask for an entry fee to take part. If you’re stuck for inspiration then check out this list of great isolation quiz ideas.

7. Clear out you cupboards and Ebay the clutter

You can sell your unwanted stuff online

If you’re a hoarder like me then no doubt you have boxes upon boxes of unused clutter. My personal weakness is throwing away leads and adaptors. One day they will come in useful but years down the line of a lot of the things I’ve kept are now obsolete and are ready to be thrown out. However, hidden amongst all the trash there may be some gems that are too valuable to throw out, but which you have no need for. These items are perfect for sticking on eBay, Gumtree or any of your preferred marketplaces.

8. Hold a virtual Fancy Dress party.

Everyone can get involved in your online fancy dress party

You can create a theme for your virtual fancy dress party and the whole family can get involved. Invite people to dress up and organise some great online party games and have a prize for the best outfit. Charge a small entry fee for everyone invited.

Although most of the information provided relates to public events and not specifically virtual fundraising events hosted online during lockdown. The UK gov website provides some useful information and guidance about how to safely and responsibly organise fundraising events.

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7 Interesting Facts About Taxis That You May Not Know.

Being the driver of a taxi holds a great deal of responsibility, and the safety of all vehicle occupants is at the forefront of every driver’s mind throughout any journey.  While most of us are well acquainted with the highway code and the rules of the road, here are 7 interesting facts related to driving and riding a taxi that you may not be aware of.

1. Continuous CCTV recording.

It is becoming increasingly common to have CCTV systems installed in taxis and private hire vehicles.  Whilst most agree that the presence of CCTV in the vehicle adds an extra level of security for both drivers and passengers.  Many local authorities have deemed the installation of CCTV systems to be mandatory.  But the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has highlighted the continuous recording of the drivers is both intrusive and therefore should be subject to strict data protection rules and human rights law.

The ICO’s view is that continuous recording is unlawful and that generally, the use of CCTV should be necessary and proportionate. i.e when transporting passengers the CCTV should be recording and it should not be recording when the driver is off duty.

2. Child seats in taxi’s law.

In most cases children up to the age of 3 travelling in a vehicle must be in a child car seat.  However the rules are different in a taxi if the driver is unable to provide the correct child car seat

In this case children under the age of 3 can travel on their own rear seat without a seatbelt next to an adult.  This is believed to be safer than holding them in the event of an accident or emergency stop.   

It is important to remember to deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing baby seat in the front seat of a vehicle.  Also child car seats should not be fitted to side-facing seats.  More information and guidance on choosing the right car seat and general safety advice for travelling with children in the car can be found on the Child Car Seats website

3. Taxi drivers don’t have to wear their seatbelts.

OK, so to be clear, in most cases passengers of any vehicle must always wear their seatbelt when travelling, however, this does not apply to taxi drivers.  It is no secret that quite often drivers will carry some cash on them from passenger fares.  The reason for this law is to prevent the driver from being restrained by their seatbelt in the unfortunate event that they were to come under attack.  These days specially designed taxis now have built-in screens to isolate the passengers from the driver to help prevent this type of assault.

It also makes it much easier for the driver to move in and out of the vehicle in order to assist their passengers with luggage, or to aid their passenger’s entry into, and exit out of the vehicle.

4. Regulating taxi emissions.

Recently the UK Government has introduced the Air Quality Regulations legislation for taxis and private hire vehicles.  Clean Air Zones are being implemented in towns and cities across the UK and taxi firms are under pressure to respond.  At ABC Taxis we are proud to have over 150 eco-friendly vehicles making up the ABC fleet, a necessary step towards reducing pollution on the roads and improving the air quality in Norwich.    

5. Soiling a Taxi

We’ve all had a close call in the back of a cab on the way home from a night out in one of Norwich’s finest pubs or nightclubs.  Or maybe you decided to check out our 6 Great Breweries To Visit In Norfolk blog.   At times you are the responsible adult taking a friend back home because they’ve had one too many and in short, they don’t make it.  

A taxi driver has a legal responsibility to provide a clean and pleasant environment for their passengers, and a soiled vehicle must be taken off the road to be cleaned.  The drivers themselves are responsible for the cleanup operation.  This is why the taxi soiling charge exists and it is intended to cover the loss of earnings that is incurred from the driver having to take the car off the road.

6. Drinking in taxis

A taxi journey is intended to be a safe, calm environment where both the driver and passenger are respectful and polite.  Many drivers will not allow the consumption of food and drink in their vehicles to avoid the upholstery being soiled at their own discretion.  However, It is not illegal for an adult passenger to consume an alcoholic beverage whilst in the taxi.  That being said it is down to the individual driver’s discretion what they allow in their vehicle, as many are self-employed and by stepping into their cab, you are effectively in their shop. 

7. Smoking in taxis.

In the UK smoking has been banned in enclosed public places and in workplaces since 2007.  This includes taxis and private hire vehicles regardless of whether the driver is transporting a fare to their location or if the vehicle is empty of passengers.  This law also applies to e-cigarettes and drivers or passengers found to be breaking the law can face a fine of up to £200.

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