MILLIONS of businesses in England have been forced to close again during a third national lockdown – but what does it mean for Sports Direct stores?
The sports gear chain shut its stores during the first lockdown, after it initially sparked outrage in March for claiming it provided a "vital" service.
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The stores were also closed for a month during the second lockdown in November.
At the beginning of January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national shutdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus and save the NHS.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also announced a full national lockdown, while Wales entered a country-wide shut down December 28.
Northern Ireland went into a six-week lockdown from December 26.
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As a result, all non-essential shops and businesses must close again.
Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and beauty salons must all shut down until restrictions are lifted.
Here, we explain what the new rules mean for Sports Direct stores in England:
Is Sports Direct open during lockdown?
Sports Direct stores in England are temporarily closed due to the third nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
This is because clothing stores are not considered to be essential. The same goes for shops that sell clothing and toys.
They will remain closed in England until lockdown measures are lifted, which is expected to be mid-February at the earliest.
Stores also remain closed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
You can still order online and get home deliveries or pick up your purchasewith click and collect.
Shoppers aren't allowed to enter the shops, with staff bringing the items to them outside.
What businesses can stay open during lockdown?
Businesses that are providing an essential service can stay open.
This is the list of businesses that can remain open include:
- Garden centres
- 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 parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
- Places of worship
- Crematoriums and burial grounds
Boris Johnson implied that restrictions will stay in place until mid-February at the earliest.
But Cabinet minister Michael Gove warned the lockdown could be extended into March.
He told everyone to stay at home until at least the middle of February, and for people to only leave their homes for essential reasons.
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