Frantic Christmas shoppers scramble to buy presents hours before tier 4 lockdown

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Panicked Christmas shoppers scrambled to buy their Christmas presents just hours before the tier 4 lockdown kicked in.

After Saturday's shock announcement which has placed millions under tougher restrictions, many attempted to get their shopping in before tougher restrictions at 00:01 on Sunday.

Frenzied shoppers have been pictured on the high street as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Christmas has been "cancelled" with measures across the south east.

Regents Street in Central London was packed out with an apparent lack of social distancing as seen in photos, queues were also forming outside stores despite rainy weather.

Shoppers were out in full force in Canterbury, Kent making the most of the hours and cramming in last-minute shopping.

It comes as restrictions from December 20 mean non-essential shops are to shut their doors, with only essential retailers open.

Mr Johnson announced a stay-at-home order today which means families will no longer be able to meet at Christmas.

  • Londoners could risk arrest if they leave capital after midnight amid Xmas exodus

The government had initially announced three households would be able to meet indoors for five days during the holidays, however the U-turn means this is no longer permitted.

Within hours of the announcement, Londoners were spotted in hundreds at stations with many seemingly fleeing the city before lockdown.

From today, residents living in Tier 4 must not leave their area and will be subject to a legal stay at home order, while they will not be able to form or join Christmas bubbles.

The announcement was made at 4pm on Saturday afternoon, leaving just eight hours for people to rearrange plans.

Last-minute shoppers are expected to spend £1.2billion on bargains, reports The Sun.

From Sunday, people could risk arrest and fines if they break the rules but Mr Johnson said the "bulk of the population" will continue to do the right thing.

  • Christmas
  • Coronavirus

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