The John Lewis Partnership is making changes to its operations during the current lockdown to make shopping even safer for its customers and partners.

As well as introducing enhanced hygience procedures across its Waitrose stores, the retailer has halted its Click & Collect services based within John Lewis shops, saying it is conscious of "the increased need to remove reasons for non-essential travel during the current lockdown, to help encourage the public to stay at home".

In addition, its in-home services and installations teams will now carry out a significantly reduced range of activities in customers’ homes, pausing services which are not essential to the health and wellbeing of customers and their families. All existing bookings will be honoured where the customer still wishes to proceed, but no further bookings for non-essential services will be accepted.

Andrew Murphy, executive director, operations, says: “We are acutely aware that the country is at a critical point in the pandemic and are constantly thinking about how best the partnership and our partners can play our part in limiting the spread and impact of the virus.

“We’ve listened carefully to the clear change in tone and emphasis of the views and information shared by the UK’s governments in recent days. While we recognise that the detail of formal guidance has not changed, we feel it is right for us - and in the best interests of our partners and customers - to take proactive steps to further enhance our Covid-security and related operational policies.”

“By insisting on the wearing of facecoverings, over and above the social distancing measures we already have in place, we aim to make our shops even safer for customers. Meanwhile, we will reduce the range of services we are offering to carry out in customers’ homes, focusing only on those which are essential in order for customers to maintain their health and wellbeing and that of their families.

“We also want to help the national effort by removing reasons for non-essential travel, so we have decided to suspend Click & Collect services from our John Lewis shops.”