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Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced the UK would be re-entering another national lockdown from Thursday, November 5, lasting until December 2. However, there is speculation the lockdown could be extended past its end date if cases do not come under control, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak saying “all bets are off” when it comes to the shutdown. And now, as England braces itself to go back indoors, people are wondering what counts as an essential shop, and which DIY stores will be staying open.
Is Wickes and Homebase open in second lockdown?
Homebase said they have a range of measures in place, which are being taken very seriously, throughout all sites.
Homebase has not yet confirmed whether they will be staying open, but said they are expecting to be included in the list of exempt retailers.
A spokesman from the store said: “We will continue to operate a wide range of strict safety precautions to ensure shopping is safe for everyone.
“This includes guidelines on the floor throughout stores, and in queues and checkout points to help people maintain social distancing and perspex screens at tills.
“Our store teams have staggered starting times, as well as planned and staggered lunch and break times.
“We have set up care stations to provide teams with access to regularly replenished glove supplies and cleaning equipment and ensure that all surfaces, baskets and trollies are regularly and thoroughly cleaned.
“There is also disinfectant available to customers to use at the store entrance, should they wish to give their basket or trolley an extra clean before they use it.
“We ask that everyone who is able to wear a mask does so whilst shopping with us.”
In terms of Wickes, the DIY and hardware store will be remaining open during the second lockdown.
Answering a customer query on Twitter, Wickes wrote: “We are open during lockdown, being considered an essential store.”
Wickes also confirmed the good news on their website.
In a statement, the DIY shop wrote: “Following recent communication across England, Scotland and Wales on current restrictions we wanted to reassure you that in line with Government advice, as an essential retailer, we will remain open; helping keep your homes warm, dry and safe this winter.
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“The safety of both our customers and colleagues is critical and we wanted to highlight the measures in place to help protect everyone.”
However, Wickes has introduced a series of new measures to help protect staff and customers in store.
The new rules will kick in from November 5, and includes limited the number of customers in stores to 30 at a time as well as implementing a new queuing system.
Delivery slots are available up to seven days in advance, and the retailer said it will release additional slots on a daily basis, while customers can continue using the click and collect service.
When shopping in store, customers must follow these rules:
- Face coverings must be worn unless exempt
- Follow the messaging in store and stay at least two metres from staff and shoppers
- Once you’ve finished shopping, follow floor markings to the till
- Place trolleys in the designated space and allow colleagues to scan your items
- Use contactless and card payments where possible
- For those buying large products, bring a member of your household to assist with carrying
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