ALL shops must close again as England enters a third national lockdown – only essential stores are allowed to stay open.

It means the whole of the UK will be under "stay at home" orders and schools have been told to stay shut until half term.

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The Prime Minister made the sobering address to the nation this evening.

It comes as the UK recorded 58,784 Covid cases today – its highest ever daily figure – as new infections passed the 50,000 mark for the seventh day in a row.

Boris Johnson said: "It's clear we need to do more together to bring the new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out.

"In England, we must therefore go into a national lockdown."

Millions of non-essential businesses, such as gyms and hairdressers, in England have already been forced to temporarily close after being plunged into tough Tier 4 restrictions.


Pubs and restaurants can continue to serve takeaway food but takeaway pints have been banned.

Here's what can stay open during England's third lockdown and what must temporarily close.

List of businesses that can stay open in lockdown

Businesses providing essential services are allowed to stay open during the winter lockdown.

Shops that supply groceries, medicines and financial services can continue to serve customers, as long as they are Covid-secure.

The government is yet to publish a full list of the businesses that can stay open but it is expected to be similar to those in Tier 4.

These include:

  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacies
  • Garden centres and Christmas tree retailers
  • Building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • Market stalls selling essential retail
  • Businesses providing repair services but only if they primarily offer repair services
  • Petrol stations
  • Automatic (but not manual) car washes
  • Vehicle repair and MOT services
  • Bicycle shops
  • Taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • Banks and building societies
  • Post offices
  • Short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and pet shops
  • Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Mobility and disability support shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks
  • Public toilets
  • Motorway service areas
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Golf courses
  • Places of worship but only for individual prayer

List of businesses that must close

The government is yet to publish the full list of businesses that must close during the lockdown but it is expected to be the same as the rules that apply in Tier 4.

These include:

  • Non-essential shops
  • Hairdressers
  • Nail salons
  • Barbers
  • Tattoo and piercing shops
  • Beauty salons
  • Tanning salons
  • Gyms
  • Leisure centres
  • Betting shops
  • Vehicle showrooms (except for rentals)
  • Tailors
  • Tobacco and vape shops
  • Market stalls selling non-essential goods
  • Community centres (except for providing education and training)
  • Outdoor gyms, pools, sports courts, golf and facilities

Which businesses are closed in Tier 3?

Businesses that are closed in Tier 3, and therefore also shut in Tier 4 as well, are:

  • Bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed except for takeaway and delivery
  • Hotels, guest houses and B&Bs are closed
  • Indoor play centres and areas, including inflatable parks and soft play centres and areas (other than for people who have a disability)
  • Trampolining parks (other than for elite athletes, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • Casinos
  • Bingo halls
  • Bowling alleys
  • Indoor skating rinks (other than for elite athletes, professional dancers and choreographers, people with a disability, supervised activities for children and for formal education or training purposes)
  • Amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues
  • Laser quests and escape rooms
  • Cinemas, theatres concert halls – other than drive-in events, broadcasting performances, training or rehearsal
  • Circuses
  • Snooker and pool halls (other than for elite athletes)
  • Zoos, safari parks, and aquariums
  • Other animal attractions including farms
  • Water parks and aqua parks
  • Model villages
  • Museums, galleries and sculpture parks
  • Botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses
  • Theme parks, fairgrounds and funfairs
  • Adventure playgrounds and parks, including ziplining
  • Visitor attractions at film studios,
  • Heritage sites such as castles, stately homes or heritage railways
  • Landmarks including observation wheels and viewing platforms

Thousands of people are becoming infected each day after mingling at Christmas and as the new mutated strain spreads.

This afternoon the Covid-19 alert level was raised to five for the first time – the highest setting.

Today Nicola Sturgeon plunged Scotland in a lockdown to last all of January.

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