Government updates list of essential shops to include all off-licences

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Government has included off-licences in its list of essential shops permitted to stay open during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The list was updated on Wednesday (25 March) to include “off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries” to the exceptions.

Earlier, only those off-licences that also function as corner shops were covered.

The decision follows reports of supermarkets selling out of beer and wine.

The list of essential businesses includes corner shops and newsagents, supermarkets and other food shops, petrol stations, Post Offices and cash points, among others.

Shopping centres could stay open if they contain units which are not required to close.

The government on Monday asked all businesses, with certain exceptions, to close as part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, sending Britain to a virtual lockdown.