Prime Minister Boris Johnson has this evening announced the immediate enforced closure of 'non-essential' retail. The Government will re-evaluate these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows it is safe to do so.

Shops able to remain open are:

  • Supermarkets and other food shops
  • Health shops
  • Pharmacies including nondispensing pharmacies
  • Petrol stations
  • Bicycle shops
  • Home and hardware shops
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Garages
  • Car rentals
  • Pet shops
  • Corner shops
  • Newsagents
  • Post offices
  • Banks

Retail and public premises that remain open must:

  • Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants
  • Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
  • Have queue control outside 

For all retailers, online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

In response to this development, BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said:
“Retailers understand the need for government to act quickly and decisively to protect public health and combat coronavirus. The safety of customers and staff is paramount, which is why retailers have responded swiftly and positively to evolving government guidance on social distancing and other hygiene matters. Indeed, many retailers had gone further and already closed shops temporarily.

Others have continued to provide essential products and services to their customers, both from physical stores and online. Any retailers that remain open will be following the very latest government public health guidance to ensure they do everything they can to ensure the safety of customers & staff.

“The public also has a vital role to play in maintaining lifesaving social distancing practices, both in and out of stores. We must all be considerate of the needs of those around us, and respectful of the retail staff who are working round the clock to put food and other essential items on our shelves and into our homes.”
The Government's full guidance is available here.