Shop opening hours: Are shops open TODAY? May bank holiday shopping guide

Shop opening hours have changed due to COVID-19 lockdown measures, as the Government has forced several workplaces to close. Those which remain open have reduced their timetables to prevent any significant circulation of COVID-19.

Which shops are open on the May bank holiday?

Only certain shops were allowed to remain open during the stricter Government guidelines issued in March.

Under those, supermarkets, pharmacies and other “essential” stores have continued to operate, while other retailers where people might usually gather have shut.

As the second May bank holiday approaches, some have begun to open once more.

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Retailers

  • Homebase
  • B&Q
  • Wickes
  • Timpson (from supermarkets only)
  • B&Q
  • Next
  • Dunelm
  • Furniture Village
  • Matalan
  • All garden centres (England only)

Restaurants and cafes

  • Costa (select locations – takeaway and delivery only)
  • Pret (takeaway and delivery only)
  • Nando’s (select locations – delivery only)
  • McDonald’s (select locations – delivery or drive-thru only)
  • Burger King (select locations – delivery or drive-thru only)
  • KFC (select locations – delivery or drive-thru only)
  • Leon (select locations)

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The following shop categories have also remained open, but may vary by location:

  • Banks
  • Bicycle shops
  • Car rentals
  • DIY stores
  • Dry cleaners
  • Garages
  • Health shops
  • Laundrettes
  • Markets for food and groceries
  • Newsagents
  • Off-licences
  • Pet shops and vets
  • Petrol stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Post Offices
  • Supermarkets

Currently, Government plans mean certain shops have to remain closed until at least stage two of official plans.

The second stage comes into effect from June 1 and will see schools open alongside some other non-essential shops such as clothing retailers with Moss Bros and Marks and Spencer.

Most of the hospitality industry, including hotels, places of worship, cinemas and libraries will remain shut until July 4 – phase three of the Government’s plan.

During the final phase, pubs and other restaurants should also partially reopen, but those which can’t enforce social distancing may need to stay closed.

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Daily horoscope for May 5: YOUR star sign reading, astrology and zodiac forecast

The Lunar Nodes enter star signs Gemini and Sagittarius this Tuesday. This auspicious event means you can expect today to be an important time.

The Nodes are where the eclipses happen and where you can expect some of the biggest changes moving forward.

Gemini and Sagittarius take over from Cancer and Capricorn.

You have, however, survive a couple of more of this eclipse combination this summer.

But the twins and archer are firmly centre stage by the end of the year.

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That alignment between sun, moon and earth is where this powerful combination resides.

And this combination is taking up residence in Gemini and Sagittarius from today.

You can consequently expect some significant changes in your life and relationships lasting a couple of years.

The Lunar Nodes eclipse points in Gemini and Sagittarius are capable of teaching us lessons.

These can range from simple school lessons to how much of our life will really have to go digital.

There is a need to learn new tricks and not accept philosophies wholesale.

You can also anticipate a pretty passionate Tuesday as the Libra Moon Trines Venus and Mars.

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The Moon then proceeds to Square Pluto and gas giant Jupiter.

Relationships take up all your time and negotiations are difficult.

Fortunately, you have been imbued with sufficient the energy and dynamism this Tuesday – and the charm – to pull this off.

What is a Square and Trine in astrology?

A square is an aspect that reveals the tension, obstacles and challenges in your life which reflect the planets involved.

Should you not have two planets side by side that make a 90-degree angle to another planet, that creates two squares, one from each Conjunct planet to the third planet.

In astrology, a Trine represents the favourable astrological aspect of two celestial bodies 120 degrees apart.

On the chart, a Trine generally relates to flow, with planets in a harmonious angle of support.

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Daily horoscope for April 30: YOUR star sign reading, astrology and zodiac forecast

A Leo Moon arrives in the skies to celebrate the last day of April. Astrologers consider this an auspicious moment for your horoscope.

This is because the month of May should usher in a significant change.

As a result, now is the time to toast your steadfastness and patience.

However, not all is peaceful, due to the influence of the Moon.

There is a first-quarter Moon tonight, meaning both the Moon and Sun Square and a crisis could be on the horizon.

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The Leo Moon never lets a milestone or achievement go uncelebrated.

And you may feel like doing something special today, as the Moon enters that royal star sign.

But be warned Mercury is about to Conjunct Uranus, so some surprises may be in store this Thursday.

The last day of April brings many decisions in its wake.

The Leo Moon hits the first quarter and this is a moment of reckoning.

A full spring month – much of it spent indoors – is almost over.

Now is the ideal opportunity to revisit the situation and make some decisions.

Leo and Taurus are considered by astrology experts to be fixed, enduring and steadfast signs.

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Unfortunately, Thursday’s Square is sure to test your patience.

As the Moon clashes with Saturn and Uranus, you may be torn between obeying rules and doing what you like.

With Mercury also in the mix, you can anticipate the arrival of some heated exchanges.

Chiron is nearby to offer some healing, but you cannot tell whether this will involve some pain.

What is certain is you are ready to move out of your comfort zone.

Mercury and Uranus are heading for a Conjunction later in the evening.

Expect some exciting insights, surprising news or even inspired solutions.

There is some ground-breaking cosmic information to download for those who know where to look.

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Daily horoscope for April 27: YOUR star sign reading, astrology and zodiac forecast

Mercury enters star sign Taurus at the start of another working week. Astrologers believe now is consequently the time for some sturdy thinking.

The influence of this aspect means you should stick with a problem long enough to discover a solution.

You can also expect to receive lots of advice about finances.

Subjects can also range from discussions about food, health and engaging with nature.

The thinking planet Mercury enters Taurus tonight meaning you are ready to begin the practical aspects of your life.

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Money is foremost on your mind, and survival more generally.

You may receive financial advice this week that will urge you to think of more creative solutions.

Another issue that Mercury in Taurus brings is the question of health.

And use this time time to check whether you are you in touch enough with your physical needs.

Make sure you are you eating a health diet to support your immune system.

Experts also suggest enjoying some walks to see some greenery or just spend more time in the garden if possible.

Monday is also the time to think of practical solutions to this current crisis and to come up with some serious strategies for the long term.

As Mercury harmonises with the Lunar Nodes tonight, an opportunity to voice what is most important to you arrives.

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The Moon starts off the day in the star sign Gemini.

Earth’s natural satellite then connects with Mercury still in Aries during the day.

This aspect gives you an opportunity to voice some creative ideas.

These can be entertained for much of the day before you have to think of more practical matters.

The Moon then proceeds to enter Cancer where it conjuncts the North Node.

This combination is capable of reminding you of what is most important right now.

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‘Amateur’ BBC blasted over attempt to stir argument between Nicola Sturgeon and Hancock

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared on BBC Breakfast and were both asked about Ms Sturgeon’s plans to look into lifting coronavirus lockdown measures in the coming weeks.

Asked about her strategy, the First Minister appeared to dismiss claims her government was bypassing Westminster on the second phase of the lockdown.

BBC host Charlie Stayt probed the First Minister on the issue as he asked: “Now, we spoke to Matt Hancock just a few minutes ago on the programme, not sure if you heard the interview.

“But we asked about what you said yesterday about your plan and the proposals you had laid out for the Scottish people, which is a point you have made many times, you want to be open with people.

“His response was, ‘Nicola Sturgeon, he named you specifically, had not set out what the Scottish government will do.’ Is that at odds of what you thought you had done?”

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Mr Stayt’s line of questioning was, however, criticised by BBC viewers as an attempt to stir an argument between the First Minister and Mr Hancock.

One BBC viewer wrote on Twitter: “Partial and out of context quoting of Matt Hancock. Sturgeon was even embarrassed at how soft the question was and sidestepped it. BBC Breakfast is amateur.”

Another asked: “Why is Charlie trying to create an argument with Nichola Sturgeon when there isn’t one to have. We are NOT interested in this sort of journalism.”

AS the Scottish SNP leader dodged Mr Stayt’s question saying she had not heard Matt Hancock’s interview, another Twitter user wrote: “Nicola Sturgeon really is a class act isn’t she. Charlie trying to drag her into a row with Matt Hancock and she sidesteps it and owns it.”

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Another wrote: “The BBC presenters try their hardest to make an issue out of it and try to force Nicola Sturgeon into saying she doesn’t agree with Matt Hancock. They are becoming no better than GMB!”

Not everyone was impressed with Nicola Sturgeon’s performance, however.

Some still criticised the First Minister for trying to score political points over the coronavirus pandemic.

One viewer said: “Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I’m not coming at this from a political angle’

“Also Nicola Sturgeon: Here’s what I think the UK should be doing live on national TV.”

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And another: “BBC Naga you just summed up Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘grand announcement’ perfectly. “A rough idea of what it might look like.” In other words she has no more idea than anyone else.”

One viewer accused her of being “desperate” as they wrote: “Sturgeon thinks she rules the world. Why is she telling us what we already know that was said last week by the Government of the UK.

She is really desperate.”

Another one also blasted the First Minister over her attempt to play party politics.

They said: “Nicola Sturgeon meant to give the impression she was saying something about the exit strategy when she had added nothing. We knew all those things were under consideration along with other factors. Nicola keeps playing Party politics, which is very wrong at this stage.”

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Coronavirus Conspiracy: Expert explains why theories spread ‘more quickly than virus’

The origins of the pandemic, which are still unknown, have left people around the world baffled as the virus quickly spread around the world in a few months. Some bizarre theories include coronavirus being the body’s reaction to the electromagnetic radiation from 5G waves. There is no scientific evidence to support this view, indeed the frequency of these 5G waves is between 30 to 300GHz, which is lower than the frequency of visible light or TV remote controls. 

Nonetheless, the theory and belief in them have led to incidents of 5G masts being attacked.

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Dr Viren Swami, a professor of social psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, tried to pin down the psychology behind people believing in conspiracy theories despite no truth in them.

He told Express.co.uk: “One of the problems with understanding conspiracy theories is so many people believe in them.”

Dr Swami noted one study in the US concluded 50 percent believed in at least one conspiracy theory and it was difficult to build a psychological profile for such a large group of people.



He added, however: “We know they’re some things that make it more likely for people to believe, such as a reliance on more intuitive or emotional thinking.

“Mainly what we’re talking about is a lack of agency or control.”

The expert also cited feelings of fear and a lack of support leading to people believing in the theories.

Dr Swami summarised: “Generally, people who feel powerless, people who feel under threat, people who feel they have no control of what’s happening around them.”

Conspiracy theories such as the 5G theory work by personifying other groups as “bad”, such as governments and those putting up 5G masts.

Dr Swami adds this makes theories believe: “Now, I can do something about it, I can take action.

“That action in the UK involves burning down telephone masts”, which can give a sense of control of their destiny back.”

The professor added the rise of social media allowed to increase the spread of conspiracy theories.

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There has been little study on whether conspiracy theories are becoming more common.

He added: “But we also know specifically in terms of the coronavirus, that it’s spreading very rapidly.

“There have been a couple of studies which have shown that you can map the spread of conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and they are spreading much more quickly than the actual virus itself.”

On whether it is easy to change the mind of a conspiracy believer, he said: “No, near impossible, particularly if you’re a hardcore believer.

“They typically reject any evidence that doesn’t fit with their worldview and they only accept evidence that fits with pre-existing beliefs.

“They will reject anything and say mainly because I’m part of the conspiracy myself.

“They frame it in such a way that there is no possibility of having a debate.

“They get into this frame of mind, where they think people who are doing bad things are inherently evil and you don’t want to have a debate with someone who is evil, what you want to do is vanquish evil.”

Success in debating and convincing the theory is incorrect is much more likely to come when debating someone who is still relatively “on the fence”.

The radiation causing the illness is not the only 5G conspiracy theory, some theorists believe the waves are linked to some sort of government attempt at mind control and lockdown is an attempt to get the public out of the way whilst masts are built.

Conspiracy theories concerning power and control are not uncommon, such as the new world order theory which hypotheses a totalitarian world government is attempting to emerge.

Dr Swami says there are two major approaches as to why theories about power and control can emerge.

He said: “One is the historical version, which is basically the kind of people who subscribe to these theories are either paranoid or deeply suspicious, and because they are psychopathological in some form, they subscribe to weird and outlandish theories.”

Whilst acknowledging there may be some truth in this, Dr Swami says “it’s not the full explanation”.

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The other approach is that: “It’s a rational form of trying to explain the world. It may lead individuals to completely irrational thought patterns, but the attempt to understand the world is a rational process. “

Dr Swami explains the issues arise through “over-simplistic” attempts to gain information that fills in gaps in knowledge.

These conspiracy theories have harmful consequences, Dr Swami warns conspiracy believes are also less likely to follow social distancing guidelines.

Whilst, the New York Times reported that in March, there were more than 30 incidents of suspected arson or vandalism at wireless towers and telecommunications infrastructure.

As well as around 80 incidents of harassment of telecom technicians in Britain.

Metro reported there were 20 further cases of suspected arson in England, Scotland and Wales over Easter weekend, including one to mast providing connectivity to the Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham, which has been set up to provide treatment to coronavirus patients.

Vodafone chief executive Nick Jeffery told Metro: “In practice, this means families not being able to say a final goodbye to their loved ones; hard-working doctors, nurses, and police officers not being able to phone their kids, partners or parents for a comforting chat.”

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