It has been more than a year since the country was plunged into the last Level 4 lockdown and the rules around what is and isn’t essential is still unclear. Butchers and fishmongers can’t open but dairies can and people can get chocolate, doughnuts and wine delivered to their door.
While at Level 4 supermarkets can operate with shoppers in store buying meat and vegetables, those same customers cannot walk into a green grocer or butcher without breaking the law. For those small, specialist businesses not set up for “click and collect” or delivery, this means trading ceased at midnight on Tuesday.
The definition of what essential items are seems to be rather elastic as this time boutique wine distributors and doughnut and confectionery gift box operators are busy taking online orders.
Some definite clarity is needed, especially if the Level 4 lockdown is likely to continue.