Majestic Wine has announced it is closing its doors to walk-in customers “until further notice”.

In a statement to its customers today it said: “As per government guidelines, we will continue to offer home delivery.

“We would like to thank our amazing staff, our customers and our suppliers for their continued support and understanding during this time. 

“We feel this is the safest thing to do for both our customers, and our staff, and to reduce the spread of the virus. 

“The government is asking home delivery services to continue. We are therefore continuing to operate all of our stores as hubs for home delivery of wine, beer and spirits.

“We are described by government guidelines as “essential”, but more importantly we recognise this is a critical service for many right now. Therefore, we not only have a responsibility to our customers to continue, but also to our people to continue, while also keeping them as safe as possible.

“We currently have a large backlog of orders we are working through, and you will be able to order directly through your local store by email or placing an order online shortly. We will also be keeping our landlines open to each branch, but would ask that this option is only used by vulnerable people and those who are self-isolating.

“We will be providing all staff with personal protective equipment, including latex gloves, facemasks and sanitiser, so that they can continue to fulfil orders safely. We will also be limiting the number of staff to a maximum safe number per store (including delivery drivers). 

“We retain the right to close any of our branches at any point, if we feel it is the safe thing to do so. 

“It is important to note that no member of staff who feels uncomfortable with coming into work will be asked to. We will be working closely with our support teams and regional managers to ensure all of our people are aware of their options and make the right decisions for themselves. Staff also have the option to commute in Majestic vans or be provided with taxis. 

“By continuing to deliver and service our customers in this way, we will help to keep some of the pressure off the supply chains of the supermarkets, and we will be able to provide many of our suppliers with a vital route to market. 

“We feel that this is the best, and the safest, solution for all. Thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time.”