JOHN Lewis has suspended its click and collect service to encourage shoppers to stay home.
It comes as ministers consider banning all non-essential shops from offering the service during England's third national lockdown.
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Orders placed online after the close of businesses today will only be available for home delivery, or to collect from designated Waitrose stores.
If you've already placed an order, you will be able to collect it from the designated branch like planned.
John Lewis said it was "conscious of the increased need to remove reasons for non essential travel" and help encourage the public to stay at home.
Its partner grocery store Waitrose has also become the latest supermarket to announce a ban on customers entering shops without a face mask.
Who is exempt from wearing a face mask?
THE following groups of people don’t need to wear a face mask when in a public place:
- Children under the age of 11
- People who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability
- Where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- If you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
- To avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
- Police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public.
Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's have already said they will tighten rules on face coverings in stores.
Over the coming days. marshals will be positioned at the entrances of all Waitrose stores to ensure all shoppers are wearing a face mask, unless they are medically exempt.
Shoppers without one will be offered a disposable mask so they can continue to shop.
Those who refuse to wear one will be stopped from entering the store.
The marshals will also be encouraging customers to shop alone and groups will not be allowed in together.
Staff will also have to wear a mask at work even if they are sat behind protective perspex screens.
John Lewis will also be pausing its in-home services and installations for new customers.
All existing bookings will be honoured where the customer still wishes to go ahead, otherwise they will need to be rearranged.
Andrew Murphy, Executive Director, Operations said: "We’ve listened carefully to the clear change in tone and emphasis of the views and information shared by the UK’s governments in recent days.
"While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us – and in the best interests of our Partners and customers – to take proactive steps to further enhance our covid-security and related operational policies.
"By insisting on the wearing of face coverings, over and above the social distancing measures we already have in place, we aim to make our shops even safer for customers."
Click and collect is currently allowed under the government's lockdown guidance and has become a way for non-essential retailers and restaurants to keep trading.
But concerns have been raised over the groups gathering for their items.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi yesterday warned a fresh clampdown was on the cards, as coronavirus cases continues to rocket upwards despite the draconian rules and stay at home order.
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