Off-licences to stay open during lockdown as they’re deemed ‘essential’

Off-licences, public loos and credit unions will stay open after being added to the list of "essential shops" during the coronavirus shutdown.

The updated list clarifies which businesses can stay open after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the shutdown of "non-essential" stores in the UK in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Other shops and stores that will stay open include cash points, car rental services, banks and post offices.

Boris Johnson had already announced that supermarkets, pharmacies and newsagents were allowed to stay open as they are classed as essential.

The PM announced to the nation this week that residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for shopping for basic necessities — and that these should be kept as infrequent as possible.

He said: "You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine — and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

The lockdown has also seen the closure of libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

Mr Johnson has said people can now only go outside for shopping, one form of exercise a day, for a medical need, or to travel to or from work.

The government has however encouraged online shopping, retailers will still stay open for online orders and that people can still have items delivered to their homes.

Although, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's are among the supermarkets whose websites have crashed since the lockdown announcement due to an overload of shoppers.

Sainsbury's introduced a new delivery policy on Monday to ensure the elderly and most vulnerable are given priority.

Many supermarkets are taking steps to ensure the most vulnerable have access to essentials.

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