Government Adds Off-Licences To List Of Essential Retailers That Can Open During Lockdown
Off-licences and brewery shops have been added to the government's list of shops that are able to stay open during the coranavirus pandemic lockdown in the UK.
The list was updated today (Wednesday 25 March), after supermarkets have reported selling out of beer and wines.
The move, which will no doubt be celebrated across the land, saw an exception added to retailers exempted from closure during the lockdown, which read: "Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries."
It will also see pressure taken off supermarkets, which have struggled to keep up with demand, as well as reducing the numbers of customers heading to supermarkets, when they can instead get their essentials at smaller local shops.
Other exceptions include corner shops, vets, pharmacies, hardware shops, consumer banks, petrol stations and bike shops, all of which are also able to stay open.
Although restaurants and cafes have been ordered to close their doors, they are able to operate on a takeaway and delivery basis.
Despite this, many outlets that offer takeaway have made the decision to close indefinitely.
All McDonald's outlets in the UK and Ireland closed on Monday. The chain previously chose to operate a takeaway and drive-thru only service in light of the Government's advice on social distancing, but it revealed in a statement on Sunday (22 March) that bosses had made the 'difficult decision' to temporarily close outlets on the British Isles.
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McDonald's said in a statement: "We have taken the difficult decision to close all McDonald's restaurants in the UK and Ireland by 7pm on Monday 23 March at the latest.
"This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but one made with the well-being and safety of our employees in mind as well as in the best interests of our customers.
"We will work with local community groups to responsibly distribute food and drink from our restaurants in the coming days.
"Thank you to all our brilliant employees for their hard work during this incredibly challenging time.
"We look forward to seeing you all again as soon as it is safe for us to reopen."
Other restaurants to follow suit include peri-peri chicken giant Nando's, as well as high-street bakery Greggs.
View this post on InstagramWe've been doing everything we can to keep our shops open and everyone safe but it has become clear that to help us all maintain social distance we need to go further and close all of our shops completely. So, we have made the difficult decision to close all of our shops on Tuesday 24th March. First and foremost, thank you to our amazing colleagues for the hard work they have been putting in every day. They live and breathe the Greggs spirit, and we couldn't have got through these challenging times without their unwavering positivity and cooperation. While we are closed, we will continue supporting our colleagues with full contract hours for as long as we are able although we will need to keep this under review as the situation develops. Whilst our shops will be temporarily closed, our dedication to our communities won't stop. We'll continue to provide support to our local communities by distributing any remaining unsold food and offering support for those in hardship through the Greggs Foundation. To our customers, thank you for your ongoing support - we know these are difficult and unsettling times, and through our community work we hope to be able to continue serving you, and your friends and families in some way. Last but by no means least, a special thank you to the key workers at the front line of this crisis and all those who continue to work tirelessly to reduce the spread of the virus. There are so many unsung heroes, and we're in awe of you all. Stay safe and all the best. Roger Whiteside.
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Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside said in a statement that the company would continue to pay staff full contract hours during the closure.
He added that the bakery would 'continue to provide support to our local communities by distributing any remaining unsold food and offering support for those in hardship through the Greggs Foundation'.
Featured Image Credit: PA