Wakefield's Trinity Walk and Ridings Shopping Centre close stores after government orders closure of all non-essential shops
Wakefield's two shopping centres have been forced to close the majority of their stores after the government introduced strict new controls.
Speaking in an address to the nation last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined strict new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the closure of all but essential shops.
As a result of the measures, dozens of shops in Wakefield have been forced to close their doors to customers, including clothing stores, restaurants and independent retailers.
Trinity Walk Shopping Centre, which is home to more than than 70 brands, had confirmed that just six shops remain open.
In a statement, the centre said: "Trinity Walk, our teams and relevant stores are trying to play our part to help the community through this period by helping maintain access to essential services and products here.
"Stores control their own opening times and days and many are either closed or varying these. These stores currently remain open: Sainsburys, Superdrug, Poundland, Bodycare, Barclays, Spectrum clinic (by appointment only).
"In the meantime please remember that hand washing is one of the best ways to combat the spread of the disease. You can find loads of essential information and guidance here at the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus."
Under new government advice, people have been warned that they should leave their homes only for essential trips, including food shops, travel to essential jobs and to pick up medication.
Gatherings of more than two people have been banned, and people will be allowed outside for just one form of exercise a day.
Documents shared on the government website specify that hair, beauty and nail salons, hotels, car showrooms, museums and fitness studios are among the businesses which must now remain closed.
The Ridings Shopping Centre has also confirmed that it is closed to all retailers other than those providing essential goods and services.
A spokesperson for the centre said: "The Ridings Centre is now closed for all retailers except those providing essential goods and services – food & grocery, pharmacies, banks, post offices and funeral directors.
"Please check retailers’ social media channels and websites for news on individual store closures or opening times. The situation is evolving quickly so please be aware that published opening hours may vary among retailers and change at short notice.
"We are working hard to ensure that we can continue to provide a level of service to support retailers who are continuing to trade and serving their communities at this time. We would like to thank our retailers who are all working extremely hard in very challenging and unprecedented circumstances to ensure visitors are able to access goods and services.
"We would appreciate your support in respecting Government’s advice to adhere to social distancing."
For the latest advice and guidance, visit the government's dedicated coronavirus website.