Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, 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.”