Boots to close 60 branches across the UK

Some Boots staff will be redeplyed to busier stores nearby

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Boots will temporarily close 60 stores in the UK due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The chain says the decision is due to a lack of space in some stores.

This makes social distancing difficult for both customers and employees.

READ MORE: Is my local Boots closing?

Stores particularly affected include those in airports, train stations and city centres.

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The majority of stores in London will close tomorrow on Friday, April 10.

The other affected stores are scheduled to shut on Wednesday, April 15.

We are committed to being there for the people that need us.

Find out which stores are affected by clicking here.

Pharmacists at the stores will be moved over to work at busier Boots shops nearby.

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Boots has around 2,400 stores across the UK. Some local community pharmacies are reportedly seeing more than double the number of people requiring prescriptions.

It is also thought some staff could be sent home but Boots has not confirmed how many will be affected.

A spokesperson for Boots said: “We are committed to being there for the people that need us and we will not leave a community without a pharmacy.

“We would like to thank our colleagues for their work and our customers for their support and generosity.”

Shoppers banned?

Last weekend Boots warned shoppers could be banned from entering stores to browse and purchase non-essential goods.

The company said customers will have to indicate what they want before entering some branches.

Boots claimed this is part of plans to safeguard the health of staff and ensure Government guidelines are adhered to.

It means those hoping to shop for non-essential items could be turned away because they’re not a priority.

Fragrance counters closed

In-store beauty and fragrance counters were closed by Boots just after lockdown was announced on Monday March 23.

It encouraged affected staff to switch to working in its healthcare and pharmacy departments.

The majority of Boots’ opticians and hearing care stores also temporarily closed.

But it is believed some have remained open to offer services for people with essential needs.

Boots UK managing director Seb James explained at the time that the company would focus on essential services.

“Our focus at this time is on supplying communities with the healthcare, pharmacy and essential items that they need,” he said.

“Boots UK beauty colleagues, including those who work for No7, Liz Earle, Benefit, Fenty and fragrance counters will not be required to go to work in Boots stores.

“However, we are asking them to consider staying in store and switching roles to assist with our healthcare efforts as we continue to work tirelessly to support those who need us. This is of course, their choice.”

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