ENGLAND is currently in the middle of its third national lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, but essential shops will remain open.
All businesses that are deemed non-essential have closed, while schools will shut until the February mid-term.
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The PM tightened Covid restrictions this evening Credit: Reuters
The tighter restrictions come as the spread of the new strain of COVID-19 has led to “rapidly escalating case numbers across the country”, according to a No10 spokesperson.
And the Covid threat level has been moved into its highest level for the first time ever.
This means that there is a risk the NHS will be overwhelmed with case numbers, which have reached record highs in the past week.
But as restrictions ramp up, what businesses and shops can still stay open? We explain.
What essential shops can open?
Like in previous lockdowns, all non-essential retail must shut across England.
This includes shops that primarily sell clothing and homeware goods.
But businesses that are providing an essential service can stay open.
This is the list of businesses that can remain open are:
- Garden centres
- Building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
- Market stalls selling essential retail
- Businesses providing repair services but 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 supplies shops
- Mobility and disability support shops
- Storage and distribution facilities
- Car parks
- Public toilets
- Motorway service areas
- Outdoor playgrounds
- Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
- Places of worship
- Crematoriums and burial grounds
What about non-essential shops?
Non-essential shops and businesses must close – but they are allowed to operate click and collect and home delivery services.
This includes shops that only sell clothing, toys or homeware.
If you shop online, keep in mind there may be delays to deliveries as many firms struggle to fulfil a rise in online orders.
Pubs won’t be able to serve takeaway pints under new rules, but you can still get your drink delivered.
The PM’s latest announcement marks yet a further ramping up of restrictions made on December 30, when Health Secretary Matt Hancock told millions more Brits they would be moved to Tier 4.
If you’re not sure what the third lockdown means, or what the rules are, check out our guide.
And if you’re desperate to know when you can get your Covid jab, here’s the online calculator you can use which will give you a clue.