Shops open: Which shops can stay open, what are essential shops?

On Monday night, Boris Johnson announced all “non-essential” shops are to close and that the nation is being placed under lock-down conditions. Brits will only be allowed to leave their homes in order to shop for essentials, exercise, seek medical help, or go to work. Which shops count as essential?

Which shops are allowed to stay open?

Only a small group of stores are permitted to carry on trading during the lockdown. This includes:

  • Supermarkets
  • Newsagents
  • Pharmacies
  • Petrol stations
  • Retail shops in hospitals
  • Vets
  • Pet shops
  • Hardware stores
  • Laundrettes
  • Undertakers
  • Banks
  • Post Offices

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What about online?

Don’t worry if you are in need of something that is not in the list above.

Most retailers will still accept online orders.

This way, you can have your packages delivered straight to your door.

Should I still be going to supermarkets?

Supermarkets are still open, but social distancing rules still apply.

As well as this, you should try to avoid going to the supermarket if you can.

The Prime Minister said: “You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can.

“And use food delivery services where you can.”

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However, many shoppers have found it difficult to get their food shopping online.

For example, supermarket delivery giant Ocado temporarily pulled their app last week, causing a two-hour wait on its website.

While many are not taking on new customers during this time.

Other supermarket websites have no delivery slots available until mid-April.

Which shops are closed?

  • Pubs
  • Clubs
  • Restaurants
  • Non-essential shops, e.g. electronics and clothing stores
  • Hairdressers and nail salons
  • Markets (indoor and outdoor, excluding food markets)
  • Youth centres
  • Libraries
  • Community centres
  • Leisure centres (including bowling alleys and soft play centres)
  • Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and sport courts
  • Places of worship
  • Hotels, B&Bs, hostels are closed to everyone except key workers or permanent residents

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