The lockdown lowdown: These are the shops that can stay open – and when we are allowed outside

Two York BID Street Rangers in a near-deserted Coppergate Centre yesterday. Photograph: YorkMix
24 Mar 2020 @ 7.28 am
| News

It’s the first day of the full UK lockdown, as announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday (23 March).

Since his address from 10 Downing Street, the government has issued further advice.

These are the reasons we are allowed out of our homes in these extraordinary times.

Shopping for basic necessities

The Prime Minister asked the public to go out to buy basic necessities such as food and medicine “as infrequently as possible” and to use delivery services where they could.

He said all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores, would be closed immediately.

Shops permitted to stay open include:

  • supermarkets and other food shops
  • health shops
  • pharmacies including non-dispensing pharmacies
  • petrol stations
  • bicycle shops
  • home and hardware shops
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • garages
  • car rentals
  • pet shops
  • corner shops
  • newsagents
  • post offices
  • and banks.

One form of exercise a day

Mr Johnson said: “You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No.”

But he said going to the park for a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household – was acceptable.

Government guidance says even when doing these activities, you should be minimising the time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

Any medical need, or to provide care

Medical needs or providing care for vulnerable people are also permitted reasons for leaving the home – and this includes going out to donate blood.

Following the PM’s address, a spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “People can still donate blood. Giving blood is classed as a medical need and a form of helping vulnerable people.

“It is essential to patients and the NHS. If you are fit and well, please keep donating as normal.”

Travelling to and from work when absolutely necessary

Travelling to and from work is only allowed for those listed as key workers and who cannot work from home by any means.

This list includes doctors, nurses, delivery drivers and some teachers.

You can see a full list of key workers here.

These measures are effective immediately but the Government will review them in three weeks – and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.