United Kingdom

Which shops are allowed to reopen today?

The top two tiers of coronavirus restrictions will apply to 99 per cent of England from today, meaning pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues will reopen with constraints or stay closed.

More than 40 per cent of the population will enter Tier 3 and only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly will return to Tier 1. 

These strict measures successfully passed through the House of Commons on December 1 with 291 votes to 78. However, 55 Tory MPs rebelled against the restrictions, and a further 16 abstained after they shared their concerns regarding the new tier system before the vote. This is the greatest rebellion against Mr Johnson to date.

Non-essential retail, hairdressers and gyms are open in all tiers, unlike the first system of local restrictions.

However, the Telegraph understands Boris Johnson has told his ministers the coronavirus tier-system could be shelved in nine weeks' time, in an attempt to head off a mutiny by up to 100 Tory MPs opposed to the new restrictions.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove had argued that the health service could become “overwhelmed” if the strict restrictions were not backed.

Here's our guide to which shops are open now.

Read more: Find your tier here.

What essential shops are open?

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and retailers providing essential goods and services are open in Tier 3, subject to Covid-secure guidelines.

This means hardware stores, garden centres, banks and post offices are open, but charity shops are not.

You can also go to recycling centres, vets, dentists and opticians.

Non-essential retail can remain open for takeaway, delivery and click-and-collect, but leisure and entertainment facilities are closed.

Read more: How to shop local for all your Christmas gifts

Are pubs open after lockdown?

Perhaps the most important question in the run-up to Christmas, and the answer is you can drink in Tier 1, drink with food in Tier 2, but it's a dry month for Tier 3.

You can sit in the pub with up to six friends from different households in the first tier, but you will only be served at your table. 

In Tier 2, you can have a pint so long as it's with a 'substantial meal'. Indoors, you can only sit with your household, so if you want to see (up to six) friends you'll have to brave the cold in the outside seating area.

A Government official has also stated that visitors to the pub in Tier 2 must leave after finishing their ‘substantial meal’. He warned there should be “no lingering” and pub-goers must leave “once their meal is finished”. 

The LGA has suggested a two-hour turnaround as the “maximum amount of time for a meal of multiple courses”. 

Pubs are shut in Tier 3, so patrons will have to stay at home with their household or support bubble if they want a tipple. 

The deal agreed by the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to allow three households to mix at home between December 23 and 27 will not affect pub restrictions, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said there is "every reason" to expect some areas could be moved into a lower tier in their first review on December 16.

Read more: Wetherspoon's Tim Martin accuses ministers of imposing lockdown 'by stealth'

What shops will open in Tier 1, 2 and 3?

Restaurants, pubs and bars can reopen, serving until 10pm and closing at 11pm. You can socialise with up to six people indoors and outdoors, and alcohol will only be available via table service.

Hospitality businesses can continue to trade using delivery services, click-and-collect or drive-throughs after 10pm.

Entertainment venues like casinos, cinemas and theaters can open until 11pm, but attendance is limited to either 50 per cent capacity or 4,000 people outdoors and 1,000 people indoors - whichever is lower. 

Non-essential retail, hairdressers and gyms can open, but nightclubs must be closed.

Patrons of pubs and restaurants can only drink alcohol with a substantial meal and may only sit indoors with their household or outdoors with up to six people from different households. 

The same curfews as Tier 1 apply and you can only order using table service. Wet pubs and bars must close.

Entertainment venues must close at 11pm and attendance is limited to either 50 per cent capacity or 2,000 people outdoors and 1,000 people indoors - whichever is lower. 

Non-essential retail, hairdressers and gyms can open.

Unlike in the first tier system, hairdressers and gyms and non-essential retail will be open in every tier.

In Tier 3, hospitality businesses must stay closed apart from for takeaway service, click-and-collect, drive-through and delivery.

Indoor entertainment and tourist venues are closed.

Essential businesses like banks, opticians, dentists and garden centres will stay open.

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