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Non-essential shops could soon shut in bid to slow spread of coronavirus

More of the biggest high street chains announced temporary closures on Monday. Credit: PA

More of the biggest high street chains have announced temporary closures from Monday including McDonalds, Primark, Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee and Nando’s.

Some senior figures in retail believe it is becoming inevitable that all non-essential shops will close leaving food and pharmacy, but very few others.

Some worrying scenes at Tesco in Dudley were posted on social media, showing hundreds of shoppers queuing and standing close to each other, not the 2m apart which is advised to help stop this virus spreading.

It all happened at what was supposed to be an hour reserved for NHS workers.

Shoppers line up outside a Tesco. Credit: PA

People aren’t just ignoring distancing advice in shops - the good weather has attracted people into parks.

Experts are appealing for people not to congregate in the open air, with the Prime Minister warning that “fresh air does not make you immune” to Covid-19.

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On Monday, Allergy UK warned that gluten and lactose free products have been stripped from the shelves by panic buyers who don’t really need these products.

They ask that this stops.

It's important because 20% of the population - about one in five - has at least one allergy.

Also on Monday, rail services were cut by about half.

Passengers with advance bookings and season tickets are eligible for refunds.

Train firms are being freed from their usual contacts and the Government will now shoulder the financial risks.

Railways have had a 70% drop in passengers as more people work from home.

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It would usually be good news that Morrison’s has made the biggest cut to petrol prices I have ever seen - 12 pence a litre off.

Wholesale oil prices are at an 18 year low.

But of course, this comes as people are not travelling anywhere - and stockpiling fuel is not a good idea.

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