Tier 4 restrictions are the most Draconian measures yet, with the affected regions of England being essentially thrown into another full-scale lockdown just weeks after coming out of one. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measures on Saturday, saying it was with a “heavy heart” he had to do so. The country was gearing up for Christmas after the Government introduced the concept of ‘Christmas bubbles’, enabling three households to mix for five days from December 23 to December 27.
However, now that has been scrapped and people in Tier 4 are being told to stay at home for Christmas.
The only exceptions are for people who live in a single household, who are allowed to meet with their support bubble for Christmas Day only.
While the news has been catastrophic for family Christmas plans, throwing everything into disarray at the last minute, it’s also terrible for non-essential retailers.
Once again, shops selling non-essential goods such as clothing, tech and toys, have all had to close their doors to customers amid the new rules.
READ MORE: Is The Range still open in Tier 4? Is Dunelm open?
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has slammed the Government for jeopardising thousands more jobs in the run up to Christmas.
The BRC criticised the Government’s “stop and start approach” as “deeply unhelpful”.
They joined other groups in calling for an extension of the business rates holiday to help struggling businesses come out the other end.
BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson said the Tier 4 announcement, which affects swathes of the south east and all of London, was “hugely regrettable”.
This is especially true after shops invested hundreds of millions of pounds in rendering their premises Covid secure for customers.
Ms Dickinson said: “The consequences of this decision will be severe. This decision comes only two weeks after the end of the last national lockdown and right in the middle of peak trading which so many are depending on to power their recovery.
“Faced with this news – and the prospect of losing £2billion per week in sales for the third time this year – many businesses will be in serious difficulty and many thousands of jobs could be at risk.
“The Government will need to offer additional financial support to help these businesses get back on an even keel – an extension to business rates relief in 2021 is the best place to start.”
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Is Argos still open in Tier 4?
Argos stores in England will be closed under Tier 4 restrictions, with only limited options for customers.
Argos writes: “In England, from Sunday December 20, stores within Tier 4 areas are open for collection of pre-paid online orders only.
“Returns within Tier 4 areas can be taken to an Argos store within a Sainsbury’s supermarket while picking up essential shopping.
“Our remaining Argos stores and Argos stores within a Sainsbury’s supermarket remain open as normal.”
The retailer said: “In Wales, from Sunday December 20, stores are open for collection of pre paid online orders only.
“Returns can be taken to an Argos store within a Sainsbury’s supermarket whilst picking up essential shopping.”
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, all Argos stores remain open throughout all alert levels for the time being.