This includes clothing stores and M&S has shut stores that only sell clothing or home items.

However, larger retail branches that include Foodhalls are set to stay open.

A statement from M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said: “We are very clear that we will follow the government guidelines as laid out, but our stores will remain open.

“We’re classified as a store that is key because of our food business, and the guidelines say that, while standalone clothing and home stores will be temporarily closed, anywhere where there is food may remain open, and so we’ll continue to serve our customers in the right way, in a safe environment.

READ MORE: Marks & Spencer update delivery rules for Christmas

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