Shops open during lockdown: Are shops closed? What shops can stay open in UK lockdown?

Boris Johnson announces new national lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has plunged the country into its third lockdown as he revealed the next steps Brits have to take to curb the spread of the Covid-19 mutant variant. According to a Downing Street spokesperson, the new measures come in response to “rapidly escalating case numbers across the country”. Mr Johnson said: “We now have a new variant of the virus. It has been both frustrating and alarming to see the speed with which the new variant is spreading.

“Our scientists have confirmed this new variant is between 50 and 70 percent more transmissible – that means you are much, much more likely to catch the virus and to pass it on.

“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic.

“In England alone, the number of Covid patients in hospitals has increased by nearly a third in the last week, to almost 27,000. That number is 40 percent higher than the first peak in April.

“On December 29, more than 80,000 people tested positive for Covid across the UK – a new record.”

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Are shops closed?

Previously, the UK was divided into Tiers depending on how many cases they had in the area, with non-essential shops allowed to continue operating in the lesser tiers.

Unfortunately, the third lockdown will see non-essential shops have to close their doors across all areas of the country.

Non-essential stores are, however, allowed to continue operating click and collect and delivery services to customers.

There may also be significant delays to deliveries as firms everywhere struggle to cope with the drastic spike in online demand.

What shops can stay open in UK lockdown?

Addressing shop closures, the Government guidance states a number of non-essential stores have to stop face-to-face operations.

These include:

  • Clothing stores
  • Homeware stores
  • Vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
  • Betting shops
  • Tailors
  • Tobacco and vape shops
  • Electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
  • Market stalls selling non essential goods

In terms of which shops can stay open, the Government is yet to publish a full list.

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However, restrictions are believed to be similar to those in Tier 4 lockdowns, which means the following can open:

  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacies
  • Garden Centres
  • Building merchants and suppliers of building products
  • Off-licenses
  • Market stalls selling essential retail
  • Businesses providing repair services (only if they primarily offer repair services)
  • Petrol stations
  • Automatic (but not manual) car washes
  • Vehicle repair and MOT services
  • Bicycle shops
  • Taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • Banks and building societies
  • Post offices
  • Short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and pet shops
  • Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers
  • Agricultural and supplies shops
  • Mobility and disability support shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks
  • Public toilets
  • Motorway service areas
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Golf courses
  • Places of worship – only for individual prayer or within households and support bubbles

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