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Coronavirus: Government orders all clothing shops to close

Prime minister Boris Johnson has ordered the immediate closure of all fashion retailers as part of new measures to limit the spread of coronavirus. 

The prime minister this evening announced that UK residents should only leave their homes in the following circumstances: 

  • To shop for basic necessities including food and medicine
  • For one form of exercise a day; either alone or with members of your household
  • For any medical needs or to provide care or help the vulnerable 
  • To travel to and from work, only when necessary 

To “ensure compliance” he announced the closure of all non-essential shops, including fashion retailers. 

In a broadcast to the public this evening, Johnson told viewers: “I know the damage that this disruption is doing to lives, businesses and jobs. That’s why we’ve produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support.

“The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades. Without a huge national effort to halt the growth on this virus there will come a moment where no health service in the world will be able to cope.

“If too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it, meaning more people are likely to die not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well. It’s vital to slow the spread of the disease.

“I must give the British people very simple instruction: you must stay at home.”

The government has stopped all public gatherings of more than two people and the police have been given powers to enforce this through the dispensation of fines or dispersing of gatherings. 

All social events, including weddings and baptisms, have been banned. However, funerals can still happen.

This will be reviewed in three weeks, and be relaxed if there is evidence to be able to. 

Johnson said: ”I know the people of this country will rise to that challenge and we will come through it stronger than ever. We will beaut the coronavirus and we will beat it together. Therefore, I urge you at this moment oof national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • What about warehouses and distribution centres

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  • Thanks for your question, we have reached out the government for clarification on this and will get back to you with their response!

  • darren hoggett

    One important point to make here is that the Government's position post virus seems to be that everything will go back to normal. It won't.

    Money and Confidence will be in short supply and that is always a bad combination for retail.

    Plus you have to factor in that the consumer will get used to having less and get used to shopping online, which some may not have done before.

    Don't be fooled - things will never quite be the same again.

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