Apparently I’m not on my own in Tier 4 restrictions, 18 million of you are in the same position of spending Christmas with whoever you live with (or on your own) and you won’t be seeing friends and family this winter.
On Saturday late afternoon and evening there was instantly a rush as people attempted to find a train ticket and get out of London. Police will now patrol to prevent escapees from the Tier 4 travel ban that came into effect at midnight Saturday. In other areas there was a panic rush to the shops by those who hadn’t finished or (this applies to one person I know) even started their Christmas shopping.
Millions across the country will also have presents stacked under the tree waiting for families who now won’t be arriving. If that’s you then the best advice is to get them boxed up pronto an book a courier today for Monday collection. Couriers are going to be busier than ever and if you don’t move fast it will be too late.
For the retail shops piled high with Christmas products they were hoping to shift after the last national lockdown, the news will be devastating as they’re unlikely to shift the lot through click and collect and it’s way to late to consolidate back to warehouses to sell. Retail generally need Q4 to break into profit and the outlook is devastating.
As an online seller, expect and even bigger deluge of orders over the next few days if you’re still trading. If you don’t automatically upgrade to next day services then at least consider offering them as an upgrade as many will want to purchase emergency presents to delivery as gifts and avoid their loved ones having nothing to open on Christmas day.
Christmas is effectively extremely limited for those in Tier 4 who can now only meet one person at a time outside in public spaces. For the rest of the country it’s down to mixing with a maximum of one other household but only on Christmas Day itself, with an immediate lockdown for many starting on Boxing day.
Christmas is a hugely emotional holiday to have cancelled at the last minute, but it’s time to think about the New Year as, although Tier 4 restrictions are in place for two weeks, there seems very little chance that they will be removed at the end of a fortnight. It can take up to 10 days for an infection to turn into an illness and so people who are already infected may not fall ill until after Christmas. Blocking households from meeting under the Tier 4 restrictions will help limit further spread, but not with household units who will now be locked up at home for two weeks. It’s highly unlikely that families will (as advised) spend Christmas with the windows wide open. This will all add up to the likelihood that Tier 4 is here to stay, probably for months and potentially until Easter so plan for the long haul and expect for online selling not to significantly slow down in Q1 2021.