Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said it is too early to say if lockdown restrictions will be lifted on December 2.

At the moment shops, pubs and restaurants which are ruled as inessential have been forced to close.

As uncertainty still surrounds traditional Christmas shopping, we look back at festivities over the years.

Oxford Mail:

By this time of year most people are starting to think about buying presents, either in the shops or online and places like the Westgate Centre and Bicester Village get increasingly busy in the run-up to Christmas.

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Now chain stores and independents are being forced to sell their products online or on a click and collect basis to avoid the spread of the virus.

Traders including those in the Covered Market are continuing to reach their customers by taking orders online.

Oxford Mail:

Thousands of people each year also attend ceremonies for the switching on of Christmas lights and shopping extravaganzas but these will not be able to go ahead.

The Broad Street Christmas market, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, has been put back until 2021.

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Mr Hancock said there was longer to wait before the government could know the impact of the lockdown, which has forced the closure of most hospitality businesses and banned most social interactions.

Asked whether each area in England would go back into Tier 3 after lockdown, Mr Hancock said "there's no guarantees in any of this".

Oxford Mail:

"What I can tell you is that we will do everything we can to keep people safe and to keep people as free as they possibly can be and to open up the economy as much as we safely can.

"But obviously keeping the virus under control is critical."

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Ministers have been careful not to promise lockdown will end on December 2, with the current plan for restrictions to expire on that date.

Oxford Mail:

It is has been the hardest year in living memory for retailers with numerous chains being forced to lay off staff.

Oxford Mail:

Historic department store Boswells closed for good earlier this year although it took the decision to close before the pandemic.