Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced England will be entering its second nationwide lockdown starting Thursday, Nov. 5, with a tentative lift date scheduled for Dec. 3. As per the upcoming lockdown’s restrictions, all non-essential stores, restaurants and entertainment venues are to cease operations— including videogame retailers. While there are inarguably more pressing issues to consider during the on-going pandemic, with just a little over a week left until next-generation consoles hit shelves, the lockdown raises questions as to how buyers will be able to take theirs home.
The good news is, for those with pre-orders secured, both deliveries and “click-and-collect” services should remain available, the keyword here being “should.” While Prime Minister Johnson stated this lockdown would be less severe than one first issued, and outdoor pick up via “click-and-collect” will still be permitted, the question lies in if individual retailers will even be able to take advantage of this loophole. According to the lockdown’s guidelines, videogame retailers’ doors are to remain closed for the next month.
In light of this news, stores such as Argos and Smyth’s Toys have taken to social media to ease concerns and confirm “click-and-collect” should (hopefully) still be taking place, but will keep patrons updated if restrictions prove more prohibitive that anticipated. Popular retailer GAME is currently asking customers to visit the store prior to Thursday to pay their console off in full, with a guarantee they will then be able to collect their console on launch day.
Unfortunately, for those without pre-orders, it’s looking like shopping for that new console you’ve been waiting for will not be possible until after the lockdown has been lifted. Here’s hoping December brings us stocked stores and a sharp decline in COVID cases.