// PM Boris Johnson says Christmas shopping can still happen if R rate falls below 1
// England is set to go into a month-long lockdown from Thursday
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sought to raise hopes of people being able to do their Christmas shopping in person throughout much of December.
However, he warned this would depend on the second lockdown proving a “success” in reducing the Covid-19 infection rate – or the R rate.
New lockdown rules for England will come into force from Thursday until December 2, and clothes shops, electronic stores and other non-essential retail will close during that period.
- Welsh Gov’t says it will ease lockdown from next week
- Footfall in run up to Christmas forecast to drop 62% due to lockdown #2 (Springboard)
- BRC: “Retailers face a nightmare before Christmas” after second lockdown news
While shops are slated to re-open by early December, depending on the R rate there may be a chance the lockdown could be extended.
Nonetheless, the restrictions are expected to offer a further boost to online retailers such as Amazon, and deal another blow to high streets.
“I do think there is the prospect of a much brighter future ahead if we can make a success of these national measures, open up again in December, give people the chance of some shopping, some economic activity in the weeks leading up to Christmas and then beyond,” Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons yesterday.
He earlier said the intention over the next four weeks is to halve the number of infections.
“The objective is to get the disease to stop doubling, the infection rate to stop doubling and start halving,” he said.
“To do that you need to get the R down below one.
“It’s currently estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.3 – I think ONS said recently it was 1.6 – but it has been coming down.
“Our intention is to use this period to get it below 1 and get that infection rate halving, not doubling.”
with PA Wires