Royal Oak Tribune

Retail therapy, last pints: England readies to join Europe in new lockdown

- By Pan Pylas

LONDON » Last- minute shoppers in England came out in force Wednesday and thirsty drinkers planned their final freshly poured pints in a pub for the next month as Britain prepared to join large swaths of Europe in a coronaviru­s lockdown designed to save its health care system from being overwhelme­d.

All non- essential venues — which in England includes pubs, restaurant­s, hairdresse­rs, golf courses, gyms, swimming pools, entertainm­ent places and stores selling items like books, clothing and sneakers — must close Thursday until at least Dec. 2. That order came after a sudden change of course last weekend by Britain’s government, which had for weeks been advocating a targeted regional response to the pandemic instead of another national lockdown.

Two changes from the

U.K.’s spring lockdown is that this time schools and universiti­es in England are remaining open, as are constructi­on sites and factories.

With time running out to get things sorted out before the lockdown takes effect,

all types of businesses extended their hours and reported brisk customer traffic, sometimes on an unpreceden­ted scale.

London hairdresse­r Richard Ward said his team of around 100 will have worked through 1,400 cus

tomers in the three working days since the British government announced the England-wide lockdown, but weekly business was still down around 25% on an annual basis as a result of coronaviru­s restrictio­ns already in place.

 ?? ALBERTO PEZZALI — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? People walk along Oxford Street, London, Wednesday, as Britain prepares to join large swathes of Europe in a coronaviru­s lockdown designed to save its health care system from being overwhelme­d.
ALBERTO PEZZALI — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS People walk along Oxford Street, London, Wednesday, as Britain prepares to join large swathes of Europe in a coronaviru­s lockdown designed to save its health care system from being overwhelme­d.

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