What shops will stay open during lockdown? Full list of essential shops - and the retailers that must close as England introduces national restrictions
As lockdown looms in England, which shops can you expect to remain open through the month of November?
England’s second national lockdown will begin at 12.01am on Thursday 5 November, meaning people must once again stay at home unless for specific reasons, until at least 2 December.
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services.
Just as in the first lockdown, pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will be forced to close, although schools, colleges and universities will be kept open this time.
Here is everything you need to know.
What counts as an essential shop?
Essential retail is defined by the government as “providing essential goods and services”, and shops and businesses that meet this requirement will be able to stay open.
These include food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants, and off-licences, which can all remain open during the second lockdown.
So too can vets and pet shops, agricultural supplies shops, and storage and distribution facilities
Petrol stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses will be able to continue business, and banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses are permitted to remain open.
Funeral directors, launderettes and dry cleaners, and medical and dental services can also continue to operate under the new lockdown.
Shops and businesses that do not fall under the “essential retail” banner will still be able to operate “click and collect” services.
What shops will have to close?
Non-essential shops will all be closed.
Non-essential retail includes clothes shops and electronics stores, car showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
Furniture shops, carpet shops and charity shops are a few stores marked as non-essential shops.
I work in ‘non essential retail’, what can I do?
For those working in a business that will have to close for the duration of the lockdown, the government announced that its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month.
The scheme includes furlough pay, which will be payable at 80% up to a maximum of £2,500 for the duration of the package of tougher national measures. The support is available across the UK.
Business premises forced to close in England will also receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under a Local Restrictions Support Grant.
A further £1.1 billion will be given to local authorities – distributed on the basis of £20 per head – for one-off payments to support businesses.
When will shops be able to open again?
It is expected that England's second national lockdown will end at 12.01am on Wednesday 2 December. After that date, the Government hopes to reintroduce local restrictions based on the latest data and trends.
The end date is not set in stone, and England’s newly-announced lockdown could last longer than an initial four weeks and extend well into December, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove admitted.
Mr Gove said it would be “foolish” to predict what would happen with the pandemic over the next four weeks, and conceded the lockdown may have to be extended.
“We want to be in a position where we can – and I believe that this is likely to be the case – have an approach where if we bring down the rate of infection sufficiently we can reduce measures nationally and also reduce measures regionally,” Mr Gove told Sky News.
Asked whether the national lockdown could be extended, he replied: “Yes.”