PET owners are being assured that pet shops will remain open where possible to provide essentials for animals.

Following the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday, Monday, all shops selling non essential items were forced to close to stop the spread of coronavirus.

But, pet shops are being classed as 'essential' and are exempt from closure, along with supermarkets, pharmacies, post offices and banks.

These establishments must now make use of social distancing advice if they choose to remain open.

Pet shops in Warrington have put in place a variety of measures such as regular cleaning, hand sanitising and keeping two metres away from staff and customers.

In a statement published on its Facebook page one store, Warrington Pets and Exotics in Lovely Lane, announced: "From March 24, it is a one in, one out basis.

"There is a dedicated area for this at the front of the store, and this is to enable customers to purchase essential needs only.

"This includes dry pet food, live food, frozen food or heat lamps.

"There will be a limit on the number of items you can purchase but please do not panic as we are still receiving deliveries twice per week.

"There will be no sale of live animals during this time, and all animal rooms will be closed until further notice."