Covid-19: Boris Johnson enforces non-essential shops to close amid UK lockdown

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has put the country in lockdown in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. As part of the extreme measures the government is saying non-essential retail stores must close by midnight tonight, including clothing and electrical shops.

Grocery stores will remain open, as well as pharmacies and funeral homes.

Lockdown measures include only leaving the house for the following reasons:

  • For shopping for basic necessities
  • One form of exercise a day
  • Any medical need / care for a vulnerable person
  • Travel to and from work, only if absolutely necessary

Measures will remain in place for at least three weeks.

In an televised address, Johnson said police will have the powers to disperse public gatherings of more than two people and fine if necessary.

Johnson said: “The way ahead is hard and it is still true that many lives will sadly still be lost.”

Retailers had already been shuttering their stores in large numbers over the weekend, including John Lewis, Primark and McDonald's. Johnson advised citizens to use online deliveries, despite the majority of supermarkets reporting problems with eCommerce and fulfilment capacity in recent weeks.

Click here to download the government guidance on which premises should close. 

Essential Retail’s rolling news story, includes details of many of the other retailers that have already closed their doors temporarily in light of the escalating health crisis.