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COVID-19 – Mobile Operators Close UK Retail Shops and Kiosks

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 (9:52 am) - Score 1,201

Last night’s decision by the UK Government to order the immediate closure of all shops selling “non-essential goods” has begun to hit, with mobile operators Three UK, O2 and BT (EE) all confirming that their high street outlets have been shut and must remain that way until told they can reopen.

Mobile operator Three UK said: “We thank our people for working over the last few weeks to support our customers in these difficult times. We will continue to keep the nation connected and, for any enquiries, customers can use the Three App 24/7 or use Three Store Now, which is a new service at www.three.co.uk/three-store-now on which customers can ask general questions between 9AM and 6PM.”

Meanwhile a spokesperson for EE said: “We’ll be temporarily closing all our EE and BT stores, until further notice. Our stores have played an important role in keeping our customers connected during this difficult time, and we’d like to thank those colleagues for all their hard work in helping to keep our customers in touch with their friends and loved ones. All of our retail colleagues will remain on full pay throughout this challenging time.”

A Spokesperson for O2 said: “We have taken the decision to close our high street stores, effective at the end of business yesterday evening, in order to protect our colleagues and customers … Our website o2.co.uk remains open and if customers have any queries they can visit MyO2 or contact us directly. We will continue to monitor the situation in the UK before taking any decision to reopen our stores.”

Finally, Vodafone confirmed that they too have “shut our stores” and are now “looking at ways to assist these customers over the next few days.” At the time of writing we haven’t had a comment from broadband ISP Virgin Media, but it looks like they’re taking the same action.

None of this applies to the usual telephone and online support services from each provider, which are already under more pressure than usual due to staffing problems as a result of COVID-19.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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