COVID-19: Non-Essential Shops Ordered to Close as UK Goes Into ‘Lock-Down’

UK Government Covid 19 message: stay at home, save lives, protect the NHS

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced stricter controls on the population’s day-to-day contact with other people in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus in the country.

This will mean that all specialist toy shops will have to temporarily shut their doors until government restrictions are lifted.

The announcement was made by the Prime Minister in a televised address to the public on Monday evening (23rd March 2020).

Essential shops, such as those that sell food and medicine will be allowed to remain open and there are a number of other exceptions.

Many well known retailers have already commenced a temporary shut-down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Entertainer, Hamleys, LEGO and Disney amongst others had all announced closure before the Prime Minister’s address, however, they plan to continue trading online by offering home delivery.

These stricter measures are expected to be in place for at least three weeks, however, the response to the pandemic can change as circumstances change. For the latest UK government guidance, visit online:


• Supermarkets and other food shops

• Medical services (such as dental surgeries, opticians and audiology clinics, physiotherapy clinics, chirpody and podiatry clinics, and other professional vocational medical services)

• Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies

• Petrol stations

• Bicycle shops

• Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire

• Veterinary surgeries and pet shops

• Agricultural supplies shops

• Corner shops and newsagents

• Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries

• Laundrettes and dry cleaners

• Post offices

• Vehicle rental service

• Car garages and MOT services

• Car parks

• High street banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points

• Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses

• Public toilets

• Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade

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