// Boris Johnson urges shoppers to avoid Boxing Day crowds as daily new cases of Covid-19 remains high
// Some retailers say December 26 sales will be spread over multiple days, therefore overcrowding can be avoided
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged shoppers to avoid Boxing Day crowds as daily new cases of Covid-19 remains high.
The PM warned bargain-hunters to “think carefully” before finding themselves among big crowds on what is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
However, some retailers have said December 26 sales will be spread over multiple days, therefore overcrowding can be avoided.
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Addressing the Downing Street press conference yesterday afternoon, Johnson said: “Whatever your plans for Christmas, please think carefully about avoiding crowds in the Boxing Day sales.
“And no one should be gathering in large groups to see in the new year.”
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at New West End Company – which represents 600 businesses and retailers in London’s shopping district – said they were encouraging customers to be flexible this year for the sales.
“As the Prime Minister stated today, this Christmas certainly will be different, and that includes all the festive trimmings, including Boxing Day.
“Aside from the Prime Minister’s comment today, many hard hit retailers have been forced to start their usual Boxing Day sales before Christmas, to try and muster up lost spend over the past year.
“What this means is that there will be no one day for customers to hit the sales this year, but many weeks.
“With this, we encourage our customers to be flexible and to enjoy their sales shopping beyond just boxing day to avoid any potential overcrowding.
“The West End is, and will, remain open to those who wish to visit.
“With increased social distancing signage, hand sanitisation points and face coverings being handed out at key stations, we have worked with partners to make the West End a safe environment and we trust our valued customers to respect the safety of others to ensure that our businesses can continue to trade through this vital season.”
Johnson’s warning came shortly after Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales would go back into full lockdown for the third time from December 28, although non-essential retailers will be closed from end of business on Christmas Eve.
with PA Wires