Chef in safety mask hanging up sign closed on restaurant door

Which shops can open in lockdown and what are the rules?

Non-essential shops are currently closed as part of a national lockdown to combat coronavirus although they are currently allowed to open for click and collect, although from Saturday, Scotland will follow Northern Ireland in restricting this service to essential retailers.

Which retailers are allowed to open?

Any retailer selling “essential” goods and services may stay open to the public as long as they follow coronavirus guidelines and make their premises Covid-secure.

In England, those on the list include:

  • food shops, supermarkets, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences
  • petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers, and money transfer businesses
  • medical services such as dentists, opticians, and pharmacies
  • vets and pet shops
  • agricultural supply shops

Other High Street businesses staying open include storage facilities, funeral directors, launderettes, dry cleaners, and car parks.

Which shops are shut?

All “non-essential” retail outlets must close but in England and Wales they can still offer click-and-collect services – where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises – as well as online delivery.

These include:

  • clothing shops
  • homeware and furniture stores
  • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
  • vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
  • betting shops
  • tailors
  • tobacco and vape shops
  • market stalls selling non-essential goods

What about hospitality, beauty, and leisure?

Hospitality businesses such as cafes, restaurants and pubs must shut unless they are providing food for takeaway before 22:00, click and collect, drive-through, or delivery. Alcohol can not be ordered for click and collect.

Customers aren’t allowed to eat and drink outside the premises, although there are some exceptions, such as airports.

Hair, beauty, tanning, and nail salons are also closed – along with tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, and body and skin piercing services. These services cannot take place in other peoples’ homes either.

In addition, hotels, hostels and guest houses are shut to most guests. They can open to business travellers and those who need accommodation to self-isolate or attend medical appointments or a funeral.

Leisure and entertainment venues are also shut, from gyms and swimming pools to theatres, cinemas, and museums.