THE second coronavirus lockdown in England has started, with people told to stay at home as pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops shutting for four weeks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned of “fatalities running in the thousands” if no action was taken. But unlike the last national lockdown in March, schools and colleges will remain open under the new controls, which are due to run to December 2.

However, pubs and restaurants will be forced to close, except for takeaways and deliveries, as will gyms, entertainment venues and non-essential shops.

People will be banned from socialising with other households indoors, and only allowed to meet one other person from another household outdoors.

But as this lockdown is only for England, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has said it will mean the hardest border between the two countries for “several centuries at least”.

Travel between England and Wales will be banned without reasonable excuse.

The controls are set to come into force just as Wales prepares to end its two-and-a-half week ‘firebreak’, with schools, shops, pubs and restaurants set to reopen from Monday.

In Herefordshire, the council will continue to help with its Talk Community initiative which was set up in March to provide support to the most vulnerable residents in Herefordshire who are self-isolating or shielding.

In the first lockdown, more than 1,300 volunteers formed a support network co-ordinated by re-deployed council staff, who act as link workers, connecting requests and volunteers.

If people need help now, the council’s wellbeing information and signposting Herefordshire website provides information and links to local services that are offering food delivery, groceries and online activities.

The council says it is continuing to provide a safety net if people have gaps in people’s support plan or if they are unable to call upon help from family, friends or the local community.

You can contact the council’s team on 01432 260027 or email

For the shops told to close again, it leads to more uncertainty over their futures.

In Kington, a clothing store already finds life on the high street tough, but its owner Bruce Childs is hoping to make the most of online sales during the four-week lockdown.

Baileys Boutique has been open for the past three years, but Mr Childs has only been at the helm since his partner died in 2018.

“It’s not good, we only reopened in June,” Mr Childs, 32, said.

“After the summer and before Christmas it’s a quiet period, but in November and December you hope you pick business up with Christmas sales.

“You miss a month of that and what’s going to happen is people are going to buy online instead of going to the shops.”

He added: “What I am going to try to do is get stuff online and sell it on that platform, but it’s highly competitive compared with the high street.

“I sell to elderly folk who don’t go online. I have to try to work around what I can and hopefully do some click-and-collect service and try to trade that way.”

Just down the road at the Walking Hub, owner Ali Allen did find some humour in the last days of trading before lockdown.

Hereford Times: The Walking Hub in Kington

Signs in the shop window hoped people would panic-buy walking gear, and even offered free toilet roll.

She said: “It’s just a bit of fun. The Walking Hub will actually remain open during lockdown for phone and mail orders and collections, and I’m working hard on getting the shop online.”