BORIS Johnson has announced even tougher lockdown restrictions this evening.
Brits in England have now been put under a fresh lockdown, and the PM has revealed the next steps the country must take to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
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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 today the Covid threat level 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 under coronavirus restrictions.
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 is expected to include:
- Garden centres and Christmas tree retailers
- 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
We will update this list as soon as government guidance is issued.
It is believed measures are broadly similar to those in place in November's lockdown.
What about non-essential shops?
Non-essential shops and businesses must close – but they are allowed to operate click and collect and delivery services.
There may be delays to deliveries as many firms struggle to fulfil a rise in online orders.
It is believed that pubs won't be able to serve takeaway pints under new rules.
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 into Tier 4.
If you’re not sure about what Tier 4 means, or what the rules are, then we’ve rounded up a guide to help you.
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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