Pictures show the full impact lockdown has had on Preston as night time resembles a ghost town

Usually a hive of activity on the first week in December, the city centre resembles a ghost town with pubs and restaurants shut.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 4:49 pm
Thousands of non-essential stores are getting ready to make a comeback as England’s second national lockdown comes to an end
Thousands of non-essential stores are getting ready to make a comeback as England’s second national lockdown comes to an end

When lockdown ends on Wednesday businesses like pubs, bars and restaurants will have to stay closed as Lancashire enters Tier 3 coronavirus measures.

Business leaders hope customers will return to their local stores in the final weeks before Christmas as the current lockdown ends on Wednesday.
In its place, much of England will be under Tier 2 and 3 of the new Covid-19 restrictions which limits social contact between households, but allows non-essential shops to reopen.

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A quiet Flag Market and Harris Museum
In preparation, retailers have been working hard to make their buildings safe for customers while some have organised festive events to entice shoppers.
As before when shops reopened following the first lockdown, many have implemented measures to limit the number of people entering shops, as well as enforcing social distancing rules, setting up hand sanitiser stations and carrying out more frequent deep cleaning.
Boris Johnson promised £1,000 to pubs forced to remain closed under England’s new coronavirus restrictions as he sought to ward off a damaging Tory revolt over the plans.
The new arrangements will come into force on Wednesday, putting 99% of England in the toughest Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, with the Commons almost certain to back the plans despite a Conservative rebellion.
But Mr Johnson’s announcement of a one-off payment for “wet” pubs which do not offer food was branded “derisory” by the trade at a time when landlords should be enjoying a festive boost to their takings.
And senior Tories lined up in the Commons to say they would not be supporting the measures replacing England’s national lockdown.
Pubs in Tier 2 areas – covering 57% of England’s population – can only serve alcohol with a “substantial meal” and are also covered by rules restricting households mixing indoors, severely harming trade.
In Tier 3, pubs and restaurants can only offer takeaway and delivery services.
Mr Johnson acknowledged that the hospitality sector had borne a “disproportionate” burden in the effort to reduce coronavirus rates as he announced the one-off December payment.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said: “A one-off payment of £1,000 for pubs forced to close does not even count as a token gesture.”
The Prime Minister acknowledged concerns about perceived “injustice” in the allocation of tiers as he faced a series of Tory complaints.
“There’s no question people feel that they have been unfairly attracted, by proximity, into a higher tier than they deserve,” he said.
“People also feel that the tiering is not working for them.”
He indicated that the Government would look at a more focused approach when deciding arrangements in future – a key demand of Tories concerned that low infection rates in some areas were not being reflected in the restrictions being imposed.
“We will try to be as sensitive as possible to local efforts and to local achievements in bringing that pandemic under control,” he added.
The tiers will be reviewed every fortnight and Mr Johnson has also promised MPs a fresh vote on whether to keep the entire system beyond February 2.