Premises shut ahead of government’s non-essential shops closure plea

Many town centre shops have already closed their doors in an attempt to combat coronavirus ahead of guidelines outlined on Monday by the First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon has called on all non-essential shops to close. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Nicola Sturgeon called on non-essential shops not selling either food or medicines to shut.

It came as the number of positive cases throughout Scotland stood at 499. Official Scottish government figures for Shetland are still listed at 24, although the real figure is likely to be higher.

Living Lerwick’s project manager Emma Miller told The Shetland Times: “I think it’s something folk have seen coming and I’m aware there are more and more of the shops that are basically doing that anyway because they’ve made the decisions themselves for their families or for their customers.

“There are a few offering online services so folk can still order on their websites.”

Ms Miller said she was maintaining a list of businesses and their trading situation on the Living Lerwick website.

However, she said eateries, in particular, had decided against staying open.

“There are two or three of the cafes that had seen the writing on the wall and had closed last week, but over the weekend was when most people took the decision.”

She added: “It’s disappointing for the businesses but we really do have to take a socially responsible approach to this. If people are still going out and interacting face to face with other people, that will be what is spreading this and we have to stop that.

“We have not been told to go into lockdown but I guess it’s pretty much just a matter of time.”

She said she wanted to encourage consumers to support local businesses as much as possible and use contactless technology to make necessary transactions.


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