The health and beauty retailer said customers are still relying on its shelves for essential items including baby milk, nappies, hand wash, sanitiser and general medicines.

However the stores are operating on reduced hours of 10am to 5pm to ensure there is enough time for deep cleaning, and some shops will have to close if there are no members of staff available to operate safely.

“Our priority is always the health and wellbeing of our team and our customers and we are doing everything we can to provide the right service to everyone, to keep colleagues and customers safe, we have already introduced some key safety measures across all stores. These include 2-metre distancing, perspex screens at till point and pharmacy counter, extra card-only tills, the removal of testers and restricting the number of customers per store at any one time.” said CEO Peter Macnab.

Thanks to a £40 million support package provided by parent company AS Watson, staff will be paid in full even if they are not able to work due to either sickness, self isolation, being a parent, being a vulnerable person, or due to store or service closures. 

The support has this week been extended to people who live with or care for someone in a vulnerable group.