Are shops open on Boxing Day in Tier 4?

10 mins read


FOR many of us, the Boxing Day sales are a great excuse to pick up some bargains after Christmas.

But the Coronavirus pandemic means that many areas are facing harsh Tier 4 restrictions, with non-essential shops forced to close.

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Make sure you know the rules in your area before hitting the Boxing Day sales[/caption]

And the Sun has learnt that several more regions across the UK may be plunged into Tier 4 from Boxing Day itself, with an announcement expected later today.

This means that which shops are open will depend on the Tier rules where you are, as well as individual retailers’ Boxing Day plans. Here’s everything you need to know:

Which shops are allowed to open in Tier 4 on Boxing Day?

In Tier 4, some essential shops are allowed to stay open. The latest government advice states that this includes:

  • 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
  • Outdoor gyms, pools, sports courts and facilities
  • Golf courses
  • Archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
  • Outdoor riding centres

Which areas are currently in Tier 4

  • Kent
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Berkshire
  • Surrey (excluding Waverley)
  • The boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
  • All 32 London boroughs and the city of London.
  • Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough
  • Hertfordshire
  • Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).

Of course, just because the rules say that a business or shop can stay open, this doesn’t mean that they will choose to on Boxing Day.

For instance, Aldi will keep its stores shut on Boxing Day, just like it has done in previous years.

Other shops that have confirmed they will be close include Asda, Home Bargains. Marks and Spencer, Pets at Home, Poundland, The Entertainer, Wickes and Sainsbury’s.

Lidl stores outside of the M25 will be shut on December 26, but those inside the London ring-road will open from 10am until 7pm.

The majority of Waitrose stores remain shut on Boxing Day, except for at Welcome Break and Shell motorway service stations.

Morrisons will keep its stores open on Boxing Day, but it will be voluntary for staff to work.

Most Sainsbury’s stores will be open from 10am to 5pm and Tesco will also be running reduced hours on December 26.

The areas at risk of moving to Tier 4

Which shops and businesses have to close on Boxing Day in Tier 4?

Under the stringent Tier 4 restrictions, many retailers have to close including clothes and homeware shops.

Hairdressers, gyms, bars and nail salons also must all shut their doors under the rules.

The list of businesses that are closed under Tier 4 restrictions are:

  • 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)
  • 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
All the rules for areas in Tier 4

Can I still take advantage of the Boxing Day sales online?

Even though the shops may be shut, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a Boxing Day bargain online.

In fact, some retailers are so keen that they’ve launched their sales early before we’ve even had Christmas Day.

John Lewis, Next and Amazon all have offers available with discounts as big as 83% off.

To make sure you get a bargain in any sales – follow our five simple rules:

  • Research items you want to find out the cheapest price. Websites like PriceSpy, PriceHistory and CamelCamelCamel will give you historical data so you can see how much you should pay.
  • Follow your favourite shops on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and sign up to deals newsletter to get the latest on any offers. We post the best deals in our Sun Money FB group too.
  • Check cashback websites like Quidco and TopCashback before you place your order. These websites actually pay you to shop. All you have to do is click through their links and the money is added to your online account, usually within 14 days.
  • Check for codes. Take a look at The Sun Vouchers, and see if you can get extra savings with discount codes.

Which retailers have launched their sales early?

THESE are the retailers that have already launched their festive discounts:

ASOS – up to 70% off

AMAZON – up to 83% off

BOOHOO – up to 80% off

CURRYS PCWORLD – up to 62% off

H&M – up to 50% off

HOUSE OF FRASER – up to 50% off

JOHN LEWIS – up to 80% off

M&S – up to 50% off

NEXT – up to 75% off

RIVER ISLAND – up to 50% off

THE RANGE – up to 50% off

ZARA – up to 45% off


It comes as…

  • Boris Johnson cancelled Christmas for millions as he put London, the South East and East in Tier 4 lockdown
  • The new variant strain of the virus which causes Covid-19 may be up to 70% more transmissible – and could increase the R value by 0.4
  • All Brits have been told to stay local during the festive season
  • Christmas bubbles in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 have been cut to just 24 hours on December 25
  • Non-essential shops and gyms in Tier 4 areas must be closed from midnight
  • Those in Tier 4 will be able to meet only one other person outdoors – but must not stay overnight from home

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