By Connor Steel
BUSINESSES across Gosport and Fareham will close for twenty-four hours or have limited opening times on Monday (September 19) as their mark of respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II on an official National Day of Mourning; this one-off Bank Holiday allowing the nation to pay respects to the longest-ever serving Monarch.
Although there is no obligation to close for the state funeral under recent Government advice and employers have the final decision upon whether to give staff a day off to observe the day of mourning; many have since chosen to close in scenes replicating those from the dates of Prince Phillip’s and Princess Diana’s funerals.
Supermarket brands Aldi, Lidi, Waitrose, and Morrisons will close all stores from Sunday night until Tuesday morning; apart from local convenience stores in London and Windsor due to greater trading demand. Tesco and Sainsburys will close all large stores, although small express shops and petrol stations will open at 5pm.
Asda stores will be closed for the majority of the day to allow staff to watch the funeral, but they will be open from 5pm across the country including Gosport and Fareham. Online deliveries will not be offered during the day and existing orders have been rebooked to different dates as discussed with customers in recent days.
The majority of popular high street shops will further close on Monday with impacts on Gosport and Fareham residents; including Argos, Card Factory, Pets at Home, Wilko, Specsavers, Homebase, Waterstones, Sports Direct and Game alongside others. Residents are asked to check before travelling to avoid disappointments.
Alver Valley (Gosport) and Garsons (Titchfield) Garden Centres will both shut all their doors to the public on Monday, including all connected stores and cafes. The Range have also announced that nationwide stores and garden centres will close on Monday; which includes the popular branch located nearby Fort Brockhurst.
In terms of entertainment cinema chains such as Reel, Odeon, Cineworld and Showcase will all be closed to the public on Monday. However Vue Cinema in Gunwharf will show the funeral for free alongside other UK sites, although no other films will be broadcast from Sunday night to Tuesday morning as a mark of respect.
Fast food brands McDonalds and Greggs will close their stores for the whole of Monday, while most privately owned chip shops and takeaways may follow suit. KFC have said they will be opening branches nationwide after the service, whilst Burger King and Subway haven’t yet released any media statement on trading hours.
Pubs and restaurants have however made announcements on opening times, with the majority deciding to open earlier to allow regulars to come together to show respect. Greene King and Fullers Group are brands that will show the funeral alongside a midday 2-minute silence, with Wetherspoons said to be opening later.
As previously confirmed by local councils, Gosport and Fareham have closed all of their leisure centres for the day alongside other activities / events in both boroughs. Schools and colleges are further closed for the day alongside all Government related buildings, with flags staying lowered at half mast until 8am on Tuesday
Those on medication have been advised that pharmacies such as Boots will close on Monday during the two hours of the funeral proceedings, but will open later. In vast contrast Rowland Pharmacies, Lloyds and Well Pharmacy stores will be shut all day, although out of hours services are available to those needing support.
In related news some organised funerals at Portchester Crematorium and local churches have been delayed for a variety of reasons. This is because some cemeteries and crematoria are closing for the Bank Holiday or the services have been postponed as requested by loved ones of the deceased during this emotional period.
Readers are reminded that the above details are correct at the time of writing and subject to change at short notice; with the Globe not responsible for any late notices or further information. They are further advised to check online for business opening hours through Monday via websites or social media platforms on Sunday.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2K0TW3A): The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is taken away in the Royal Hearse from the Royal Air Force Northolt as it arrives in rain-hit England from Scotland earlier this week (September 14).