FAMILIES have been stocking up on essential Christmas presents and decorations today as they hit the shops on the first day of the national lockdown.
People getting ready for the festive season headed to stores able to stay open in the shutdown, to get a head start on present buying.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updatesChristmas decorations are an essential purchase for this couple heading out todayCredit: Splash News Toys and treats for Christmas have been purchased on the first day of the second lockdownCredit: Splash News Christmas decorations were snapped up as the nations hopes for a relatively normal festival period
It comes as the country goes into a national shutdown for four weeks, with a stay at home order set to be lifted on December 2.
But with 50 days to go until Christmas, people haven't let lockdown stop them prepping for the big day.
Only essential shops can stay open, with eager customers already snapping up gifts and festive decorations on offer.
And others don't appear far behind, as dozens were pictured picking up wreaths and Christmas trees today.
People were seen emerging from The Range in Southend-on-Sea with reindeer decorations and glitter to adorn their homes, and trolleys piled high with toys and treats.
At the weekend Michael Gove hinted at the possibility of an extended lockdown, as he warned the R rate needs to fall below 1 before measures are lifted.
His admission on the Sophy Ridge on Sunday show raised fears of a ruined Christmas for millions of British families.
An extension of the lockdown would come as a blow for Brits making festive plans and banking on the restrictions being removed in a month.
DECK THE HALLS
In line with the strict rules people are now no longer allowed to mix indoors outside their households or bubbles, and only allowed to meet one other person outside.
Shoppers have been asked to go in stores alone and everyone has been told to work from home where possible.
Restaurants and cafes have now shut their doors - and can only offer takeaway options.
The second national lockdown was brought in after experts told Boris Johnson enforcing full restrictions was the way to rescue the festive period.
It comes as Covid jabs may be ready by Christmas, the NHS’s boss said yesterday. The results of clinical trials are due within days.
And Sir Simon Stevens said that, if the vaccine is approved, he has primed GPs for a December roll-out.
He said yesterday on the eve of lockdown: “We’re waiting to fire the starting gun.”
It could mean that Brits might get immunised when the country comes out of lockdown — and just in time for Christmas.Gifts and Christmas themed purchases were snapped up todayCredit: Splash News One lucky person is getting a Build Your Own Princess HouseCredit: Splash News Trolleys were piled with toys and treats today A musical lamp was an essential purchase for a bit of cheer after the strange few monthsCredit: Jordan Crosby
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