Prime Minister Boris Johsnon put the UK on lockdown on Monday (23 Mar), announcing strict new guidelines in the fight to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Shops, pubs, restaurants and other leisure venues have all now been forced to close, and people have been ordered not to leave their homes unless it is for specific and essential reasons.
A number of shops have been permitted to remain open, including supermarkets and other food shops, with the public now urged to use delivery services where they can.
Can I still get online deliveries?
Despite the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods, online deliveries will continue to enable people to order food and shopping straight to their home.
Shops that have been permitted to stay open include:
- Pet shops
- Hardware stores, such as B&Q
- Retail shops in hospitals
- Petrol stations
- Post Offices
The new restrictions do permit infrequent shopping for basic necessities, such as food or medicine, but people should use delivery services where they can
What shops are offering online delivery services?
Several supermarkets are offering home delivery services during the UK lockdown, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, M&S and Morrisons.
Information about home delivery during the lockdown can be found on the supermarket websites, but shoppers are warned that demand is high and slots may not always be available.A number of retailers are also still offering online delivery services, despite their stores being closed.
Here are some of the stores where you can still buy goods:
Boots is offering home delivery, but services are taking around seven days due to high demand, with the likes of toilet roll and hand washes currently out of stock.
Shoppers are advised to keep checking the website for items being restocked.
While John Lewis has closed all of its stores, it is still offering delivery services via its website, and its click and collect service is available to use at Waitrose stores.
The retailer is still delivering large items, providing no members of the household are self-isolating, and has committed to honour home installation and assembly services that were booked before 19 March.
Amazon has committed to keeping its delivery services open during the lockdown, with the retailer seeking to prioritise deliveries to people who need essentials, such as the elderly.
Non-essential products are to be halted to give priority to medical supplies, household staples and other high-demand essentials, until 5 April.
Those who are Prime members can also use the add-on services Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry, which stock household essentials and some food items.
Home delivery and click and collect services are available at Superdrug, although the retailer is warning of a potential delay with some orders due to the current high volume.
The high street retailer is still delivering to homes across the UK and at Collect+ locations, and their returns policy has been extended for three months.
Customers who made a purchase after 16 February 2020 are still able to get a refund, and any in store purchases that are within the 28 day returns period as of 16 March 2020 can also be returned with a valid receipt until 15 June 2020.
Online shopping is still available from H&M, with the stores offering free standard delivery and free flexible returns on all hm.com orders.
It has also extended its returns policy from 28 days to 100 for all items.
The websites for the Arcadia group, which includes Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Miss Selfridge, all still remain active, allowing customers to order from their stores online.
Topshop has also said it is offering contact free deliveries for anyone who requests them, and the returns policy for in-store purchases will be extended by 14 days once stores reopen.
Free online deliveries are available while stores are closed, and the store has said it is currently experiencing “no issues” with delivery times. The returns policy remains as normal.
River Island is operating a 24/7 delivery service and is offering contactless delivery for customers who request it, as well as deliveries to local collection points.
The returns policy has also been updated to allow customers who bought items in-store 28 days from when shops reopen to send items back.
Online shoppers also have 28 days to return items via its free services as standard.
The retailer has stopped its click and collect service, but is offering free delivery on orders of more than £25.
The returns policy has also been extended, allowing customers until 1 July 2020 to return purchases made between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020.
Shoppers can still get home deliveries as normal, but will not be able to use the click and collect service from stores.
The retailer is offering contact-free delivery and has extended its returns policy by 30 days from the date stores reopen.
Coronavirus: the facts
What is coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.
What caused coronavirus?
The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.
How is it spread?
As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
What are the symptoms?
The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.
What precautions can be taken?
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
As of Monday 23 March the prime minister has put the UK into lockdown and instructed all citizens to stay at home. People can only leave their homes to exercise once a day, go shopping for food and medication, travel for medical needs or to care for a vulnerable person, and travel to work only if essential. Police will be able to enforce these restrictions.
All non-essential shops will close with immediate effect, as will playgrounds, places of worship and libraries. Large events or gatherings of more than two people cannot go ahead, including weddings and celebrations. Funerals can only be attended by immediate family. Children of separated parents can go between both parents' homes.
Anyone with a cough or cold symptoms needs to self-isolate with their entire household for 14 days.
The government has now instructed bars, restaurants, theatres and non-essential businesses to close and will review on a ‘month to month’ basis. Schools closed from Friday 20 March for the foreseeable future, and exams have been cancelled.
The over 70s or anyone who is vulnerable or living with an underlying illness are being asked to be extra careful and stay at home to self-isolate. People with serious underlying health conditions will be contacted and strongly advised to undertake "shielding" for 12 weeks.
For more information on government advice, please check their website. https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Should I avoid public places?
You should now avoid public places and any non-essential travel. Travel abroad is also being advised against for the next 30 days at least, and many European countries have closed their borders.
What should I do if I feel unwell?
Don’t go to your GP but instead look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next. https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
When to call NHS 111
Only call NHS 111 if you can’t get help online and feel very unwell. This should be used if you feel extremely ill with coronavirus symptoms. If you have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus please use the online service.
Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS