With shops re-opening a month after the second lockdown and just a few weeks before Christmas, shoppers are learning the meaning of the nightmare before Christmas.
How else to start celebrating this “Covid Christmas?” , but with sore feet, aching arms and long queues. The outbreak of a global pandemic in the form of coronavirus means 2020 has not been a good year for the majority of people.
Boris Johnson announced a second national lockdown across England on November 5th 2020, which saw the closure of non-essential shops, restaurants, bars and gyms. On the 2nd of December, lockdown restrictions were lifted across England and the country entered a revised and more stringent tier system.
Here in Newcastle Upon Tyne, residents have come out of lockdown to find themselves living under Tier 3 restrictions. Bars and restaurants remain closed, however gyms and non-essential shops re-open for the festive period.
However, this has left people with only three weekends to shop before Christmas and unfortunately with only one way to stay entertained and get out of the house: to shop for Christmas.
Despite grey skies and heavy rain, families still poured out onto the streets of Newcastle. Annu Brahma, mother of three, talks about her shopping experience:
Miss Brahma also says “Although the streets are marked out to maintain a one-way system and shops are limited to a number of people who all have to wear masks, the streets and shops are still crowded.”
There’s growing concern among the city’s residents about overcrowded shopping streets. Although restrictions have been lifted for now for them to enjoy Christmas, many fear it will result in a rise in the infection numbers in the new year.