People in England will now only be allowed to leave the house for one of five reasons:
- To work if it is “impossible” to work from home
- To shop for essentials
- To exercise
- To provide care
- For a medical appointment
Non-essential retailers will be shut in the whole of England, together with gyms, hairdressers, sports facilities, pubs and restaurants.
All primary and secondary schools will close from Tuesday, Jan 5 until at least mid-February and GCSE and A-level exams face cancellation for a second year.
The new measures are the strictest since those imposed in March last year.
Here's our guide to which shops are open now.
Which shops must close?
All non-essential retail must close. This includes department stores, book shops, technology stores and more high street stalwarts will have to shut.
The full list of non-essential shops includes: clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock and agricultural equipment), and market stalls selling non-essential goods.
These businesses will still be able to operate a click and collect service.
Charity shops must also close.
What essential shops are open?
Food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, and off-licences are deemed essential retailers.
Market stalls selling essential goods, petrol stations, taxi and vehicle hire businesses, short-term loan providers, money transfer businesses, medical and dental services, vets and pet shops, funeral directors, launderettes and dry cleaners can also stay open.
Banks, building societies and post offices do not need to shut.
How did we get here?
The new shop closures come after a challenging year for retailers, who were forced to shut shops between March and June in the first nationwide lockdown and again during November's second English lockdown.
Many household names, including the Arcadia group (which includes Topshop and Burton), Laura Ashley, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Cath Kidston have gone into administration as a result of the pandemic.
The government has not yet announced any additional support for businesses affected by the Tier four closures, aside from existing measures such as the furlough scheme, which Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended until April 2021.
What will anything change when the shops reopen?
When non-essential retail reopens after lockdown, it is possible that shops will follow the lead of supermarkets, and introduce stricter rules surrounding face coverings and social distancing.
FromJan 11, several supermarket chains announced they were clamping down against rule-breakers, beginning with Morrisons, who revealed they would bar shoppers who fail to adhere to regulations unless they are medically exempt. Following this news, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Waitrose also said they would take a tougher stance on those who failed to follow Government guidance.