ENGLAND is currently in the middle of its third national lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, but some shops are allowed to stay open.
All businesses that are deemed non-essential must closed – this includes shops that sell clothes, toys and homeware goods.
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Non-essential retail isn't expected to open until at least April 12 as part of Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown.
The roadmap out of lockdown will be done in stages, and is dependent on coronavirus cases remaining under control and the vaccine roll out staying on target.
See our box below for the four key tests the government must pass before each key date.
But for now, what businesses and shops can still stay open?
What four tests does the gov need to pass before easing restrictions?
1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
4. Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
Which essential shops can open?
Essential retailers – for instance those that sell food, medicine or building supplies – have been allowed to stay open throughout the third lockdown.
For now, here's the full list of essential businesses which the government has ruled CAN stay open.
- 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 still 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.
The following types of retailers have been classed as "non-essential" and are therefore shut during lockdown.
- Clothing shops
- Homeware shops
- Toy shops
- Vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
- Betting shops
- Tobacco and vape shops
- Electronic goods shops
- Mobile phone shops
- Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
- Market stalls selling non-essential goods
You can still get a Maccies for dinner during lockdown – but there are some major changes to how you can get your food this time.
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.
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