Two-year anniversary of UK’s first Covid lockdown: 8 things that have changed forever due to the pandemic

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Two years on from Boris Johnson declaring the first Covid lockdown in the UK, many parts of our everyday lives have changed, possibly forever

The UK adapted to doing things differently during the Covid lockdowns, from working from home to changing up exercise routines and not leaving the house without a face mask.

But as the two-year anniversary of the first Covid lockdown approaches, have certain things changed forever due to the pandemic, and what is here to stay?

These are eight things that have changed due to Covid.

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Two years on from Boris Johnson declaring the first Covid lockdown in the UK, many parts of our everyday lives have changed, possibly foreverTwo years on from Boris Johnson declaring the first Covid lockdown in the UK, many parts of our everyday lives have changed, possibly forever
Two years on from Boris Johnson declaring the first Covid lockdown in the UK, many parts of our everyday lives have changed, possibly forever | Mark Hall/JPIMedia

Wearing face masks

Although rules on wearing face masks have been relaxed in England, many are still opting to wear them when out and about in shops or on public transport, with it now becoming the norm to grab one when leaving the house and wearing one in busy places.

In Scotland, where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has taken a more cautious approach, the rules on face coverings will remain in place until April, amid a concerning rise in cases.

Ordering food and drinks on apps

During the Covid lockdown, rules regarding ordering online, on apps or table service-only were constantly changing, with many hospitality settings turning to QR codes and apps for people to order food and drinks instead of heading to the bar.

Some pubs and restaurants have kept this in place, with QR codes on tables allowing people to browse menus and order via apps instead of catching an employee’s attention.

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Shops closing down

Some shops permanently closed their stores during lockdown, including Topshop, Debenhams and Miss Selfridge. Granted, Asos bought Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge so their goods can be bought online, and Boohoo bought the Debenhams name and website too.

But it’s fair to say that the challenges facing the British high street were accelerated during Covid.

Shops moving online

Other shops, such as Cath Kidston, permanently moved online, with other retailers and small businesses also deciding that online-only was the way forward.

Keeping kids off school

Many parents will now be used to keeping kids off school if they’re not feeling great, with children across the nation adapting to Covid bubbles, isolation and home learning during the pandemic.

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Staying off work when ill

Similarly, pre-pandemic you may have been used to going into work when full of the cold or feeling a little under the weather, but many will now work from home if possible when not feeling 100%, to stop the chance of passing bugs onto others.

Working from home

Working from home has now become the norm for many, and heading into the office will be a thing of the past altogether for some. The pandemic has allowed employees and companies to realise that some roles can be performed at home, with many preferring this way of working.

Hand sanitiser

Carrying hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes with you everywhere may have felt strange at first, but for many they’re now staple things to throw in bags and pockets, sitting there alongside purses and keys.

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