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Coronavirus: Lockdown is not three weeks to decorate — Newarkers warned

It's not three weeks off to decorate your home, it's three weeks of lockdown and isolation — that's the message coming from some of those visiting Homebase, Newark.

Boris Johnson announced strict new guidelines yesterday that placed Britain into lockdown for an initial period of three weeks, shutting all shops classed as non-essential and ordering people to stay at home or face the prospect of fines and dispersal if they gather in groups.

All journeys are supposed to be occasional and borne of necessity to purchase essentials.

Homebase after lockdown. (32297390)
Homebase after lockdown. (32297390)

As a hardware store, Homebase has been classed as an essential business and permitted to stay open.

When the doors opened this morning, there were queues of people panic-buying DIY goods, paints and plants.

One customer said: "This is not essential shopping and is endangering the retail staff working.

"These shoppers should be at home not buying paint.

"Please help us raise awareness that people are of Newark are not abiding by Government guidelines."

Although people did appear to be adhering to the two-metre distancing rule, which appeared to be being enforced by staff, customers, some of them families, could be seen leaving with plants, pots and decorating materials.

Another customer said: "They were queuing around the carpark and remember they are suppose to be open for essential and emergency repairs.

"Many employees are being put at risk because people have three weeks off to decorate."

All non-essential premises must now close.

Online retail is still open and encouraged, and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

Other businesses on Northgate Retail Park such as Next and PC World have closed and the main carpark was nearly empty.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle — alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

These four reasons are exceptions — even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are two metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

These measures must be followed by everyone.

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