High streets in Tier 4 regions were left deserted today as all non-essential shops closed their doors – following a last-minute rush to buy Christmas presents before the rules kicked in at midnight.
Boris Johnson yesterday revealed in a 4pm emergency press conference that a third of England – including London and swathes of the home counties – would be thrust into a brutal Tier 4 lockdown from midnight on Saturday in a bid to stamp out the ‘mutant’ strain of coronavirus.
The draconian bracket forced all non-essential shops to shut giving Britons just eight hours to complete their gift shopping ahead of Christmas Day.
Shoppers descended on London’s high streets in their droves, with pictures showing Oxford Street and Regent Street flooded with panic buyers late into the night.
But the first day of Tier 4 was a totally different story – with the jam-packed streets of yesterday evening looking nearly deserted today.
Shoppers keen to splash some cash were forced to go elsewhere as a handful of retailers and activities dubbed ‘essential’ by the Government are still allowed to open.
Supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations all feature on the Government’s permitted list – as do the less-obvious Christmas tree retailers, dry cleaners, archery and shooting ranges and outdoor riding centres.
Others fled Tier 4 all together for their Christmas shopping with countless Surrey locals breaking lockdown rules to cross the border to Tier 2 Horsham in West Sussex.
Read more: Systematic destruction of non-Cult businesses – shopping streets in London lie eerily deserted as ‘non-essential’ stores close after huge crowds descended on capital to buy gifts before new restrictions came into force