Christmas tree shops and stalls in England allowed to reopen as government changes lockdown rules

Sarah Young
·2-min read
 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

People in England can start to get in the festive spirit after the government changed lockdown rules regarding the closure of shops and stalls selling real Christmas trees.

Previously, tree farms and sellers were deemed a non-essential business meaning they were forced to close during the month-long restrictions that are currently in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

However, the government has now changed the rules, meaning they can reopen from Saturday 21 November.

While some tree sellers have been able to continue operating with a delivery service throughout lockdown, market and street traders would have been unable to open until the restrictions were lifted on Wednesday 2 December.

Some retailers, such as supermarkets and garden centres, have been able to sell real trees in stores throughout the duration of the second lockdown, as they are considered essential.

The decision comes days after the government changed quarantine rules for foreign poultry workers ahead of a Christmas rush on turkeys, allowing them to travel into the country for labour.

This would “ensure adequate supply of food for the Christmas period,” ministers argued.

While the ability to buy a real Christmas tree will be welcome news to many in England, the devolved nations are still debating whether it will be possible for families to meet over the festive period.

A Downing Street spokesperson recently said the prime minister “has been clear in his desire to try and allow families to have Christmas together”, adding that Boris Johnson was taking tougher measures now to drive down transmission and hospital admissions.

During a Downing Street briefing, health secretary Matt Hancock said it was too early to say what contact different households might be allowed to have over the festive period – but reports claim Mr Johnson is preparing to announce a plan next week.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Christmas celebrations, many people have already started putting up their decorations, including Dame Joan Collins who, on 10 November, shared a photo of herself on Instagram holding a glass of champagne next to a Christmas tree, writing: “So what else should one do during #lockdown in #november?”

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