Off-licences have been added to the government’s list of essential retailers that are permitted to stay open during the UK coronavirus lockdown.
Off-licences and “licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries” have today been reclassified as essential stores, amid reports that supermarkets were beginning to sell out of beer and wine.
Customer stockpiling saw supermarket sales of beer, wine and spirits soar 11 per cent in the week to 14 March, according to the latest research by Nielsen.
All non-essential retailers, such as clothing and electronics stores, and pubs and bars have been ordered to close as the government attempts to slow down the spread of coronavirus in the UK.
Supermarkets, pharmacies and banks are among the retailers that have been allowed to continue trading following the announcement of lockdown measures that were announced by the prime minister on Monday evening.
“You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can,” Boris Johnson said on Monday evening.
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
Petrol stations, newsagents and bicycle shops are also on the list of retailers deemed essential by the government during the coronavirus pandemic.