The extreme measures were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson tonight as he ordered Brits to stay home to take the pressure off the NHS and help beat coronavirus.
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Brits will only be able to go to supermarkets, pharmacists, pet shops, hardware stores and newsagents in an unprecedented high street shutdown.
Banks and post offices will also stay open so the vital services they run can continue to be delivered.
He also announced:
- Brits must stay at home unless they need to get essentials, go to work, exercise or seek medical help
- Gatherings of more than two people at once are banned, including weddings and baptisms
- You can leave your home to exercise but just once a day
- Communal play and exercise areas inside parks will also be shut down, but not parks themselves
- Places of worship such as churches and mosques must also shut, except to host for funerals
- Online orders and deliveries will continue for closed retailers
And travel on roads, trains and buses was also banned, unless it’s essential to get to work.
Anyone breaking the rules will be fined at least £30 – and up to £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate.
Under the new rules shops selling non-essential items, such as clothing, electronics and other premises such as libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, are to close immediately.
SHOPS ALLOWED TO STAY OPEN
ONLY a small group of retailers will be allowed to stay open, they include:
- Takeaways and food deliveries
- Health shops
- Medical services – eg, dentists
- Pet shops
- Hardware stores
- Retail shops in hospitals
- Petrol stations
- Bicycle shops
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Banks, building socities
- Short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
- Storage and distribtion centres
- Post Offices
- Car rental services and car parks near vital services such as supermarkets
- Public toilets
- Car garages and repair shops
- Food banks and shelters
But retailers will still stay open for online orders and you can have items delivered to your home.
Announcing the plan in an address to the nation on Monday, Boris Johnson told the country “you must stay at home”.
He added: “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.
What shops or premises must now close?
- Non-essential shops, including electronics and clothing stores
- Hairdressers and nail salons
- Indoor and outdoor markets, excluding food markets
- Youth centres, libraries and community centres
- Leisure centres, such as bowling alleys and soft play centres
- Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and sport courts
- Places of worship
- Hotels, B&Bs, hostels – unless key workers or permanent residents
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
The Prime Minister expressed regret at the strict measures and said that he would review them again in three weeks.
All social events, including weddings and baptisms, are also to be banned with the exception of funerals. While places of worship will also be locked up.
You can find the full list of premises that have been ordered to close on the GOV.UK website.
Which shops can stay open during UK lockdown?
- Food retailers
- Hardware stores
- Corner shops
- Petrol stations
- Shops in hospitals
- Post offices
- Pet shops
He added: “I want to thank everyone who is working flat out to beat the virus.
Everyone from the supermarket staff to the transport workers to the carers to the nurses and doctors on the frontline.
“But in this fight we can be in no doubt that each and every one of us is directly enlisted.”
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Earlier today, scores of shops and food chains announced they would close including McDonald’s, KFC and Greggs.
Fashion chains like H&M, Next and Evans have also shut up shops.
The PM’s latest move means many more hundreds of thousands of workers have been ordered to stay home because of the deadly pandemic.
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Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Retailers understand the need for government to act quickly and decisively to protect public health and combat coronavirus.
“The safety of customers and staff is paramount, which is why retailers have responded swiftly and positively to evolving government guidance on social distancing and other hygiene matters. Indeed, many retailers had gone further and already closed shops temporarily.
“Others have continued to provide essential products and services to their customers, both from physical stores and online.”