AS Bicester enters another lockdown with the rest of the country, the town says the Government has made the right decision – but rules should be stricter and must be followed.

Non-essential shops, gyms, leisure centres, barbers and beauty salons are closed until at least February 15.

It comes as the number of Covid cases in Cherwell up to January 1 was 756.1 per 100,000 - the highest in Oxfordshire.

Unlike the second lockdown in November, schools are also closed meaning children will be learning from home.

Businesses in the town will be switching up the way they work again with pubs, cafes and restaurants offering takeaway and delivery services and shops offering click and collect.

ALSO READ: Surge in Oxfordshire Covid cases as third lockdown begins

Bicester residents feel the lockdown will help stop the spread of coronavirus, but that a lockdown like the first one where more restrictions were imposed should be in place instead and people need to follow the rules.

This paper asked residents on Facebook for their opinions and Sarah Derwin commented: “It [lockdown] absolutely needed to happen. Should have happened sooner. No one is taking any notice of it this time though. No queuing to get into shops - it’s a free for all. No social distancing. Kids still in town in groups not wearing masks.

“The only shops that should be open is Sainsbury’s and Iceland. The rest should be shut. The others should do an online service which most do anyway. Can’t shut the schools and leave Poundland open. Ridiculous. People need to be stricter. We won’t get on top of it any other way. Everyone is fed up with rules but it’s a must, like it or not.”

Marie Thornton said: "Lockdown is necessary, but not hard enough. Garden centres and shops like B&M, Wilko etc should shut. We have enough supermarkets and grocery shops to supply food if people don’t panic buy. But regardless of how hard the lockdown is, we will still have idiots breaking rules and spreading it."

Bicester resident Christine Weller commented: "Unfortunately it's not being adhered to like the first lockdown when we were much better at following the rules. People have become blasé about the virus."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced financial support for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure in the form of grants of up to £9,000.

The Nightingale Pub in Bicester said the news of the third lockdown came as a sense of 'déjà vu', but welcomes the Chancellor’s help.

It will be offering a free delivery and takeaway service again in the town and beyond.

Alister Wilson, senior operations manager, said: “The chancellor’s announcement of further financial aid to the hospitality sector is welcome news, and will help leaps and bounds in ensuring pubs like ours withstand the test of closure and will be able to re-open when we can.

"Lockdown 3 is a necessary evil. Although evidence suggests that through the period of August 2020 – November 2020, hospitality only accounted for five per cent of the spread of Covid infections, we absolutely agree we must all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus, hold out for the vaccine, so that we can all be together in pubs again.”

ALSO READ: Will people stick to lockdown more than Tier 4 rules?

The grant will be made available through Cherwell District Council soon.

For Covid-related help and information, go to

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.