Libraries have diminished in recent years but still offer a vital service across the UK to those looking for books, internet and other services. The UK has been ordered to stay-at-home except to use vital services as the coronavirus rate has skyrocketed in recent weeks despite measures.
A slew of extreme measures have now been brought in to help bring the infection and death rates down, with many everyday services like libraries going through significant changes.
Schools are currently closed to children except those of key workers and vulnerable families – despite many schools reporting they have more children attending than they did during the first lockdown in March.
Non-essential retail is shuttered for the next six weeks, with only supermarkets and selected other services still allowing in person shopping.
University campuses are currently closed and students are urged to not travel back to their university until the restrictions have been relaxed.
In England, places of worship remain open, whereas in Scotland they are currently closed.
Hospitality venues such as restaurants, bars and pubs are all closed except for takeaway food – takeaway alcohol has been banned this lockdown.
Hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites are banned from having people stay unless it is for an essential reason, such as accommodation for work purposes.
Hairdressers and other beauty salons have also been forced into closing for the next six weeks.
Gyms are also shuttered for the duration of this lockdown, with exercise in general limited to only once a day.
People will be allowed to exercise outdoors with one other person outside of their household, although this should be limited to once a day and performed locally.
This means two people may go for a walk together, but may not sit on a bench together for a chat.
Are libraries open in lockdown?
Unfortunately, the pursuit of knowledge has been adapted slightly for living in coronavirus times.
Lockdown guidance states that “Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services”.
This means you are still welcome to use your local library computer if it is essential – for example if you don’t have your own at home.
You can also request books from the library remotely, and pick them up using click-and-collect.
There is also a home library service that will deliver books to those who cannot get to the library.
Some libraries are still closed throughout the third lockdown – you can view the full list of open libraries and their services throughout the UK here.
Some university libraries are also open for students to use, for example in Scotland – but students will have to check with their university for full information.