From December 2, non-essential shops were given the green light to reopen following a four-week lockdown and replaced by a harsher tier system. Up to 99 percent of the country were placed in the two highest tiers.
However, despite social distancing measures and the rule of six still being imposed, thousands of shoppers were photographed crowding streets and shops ahead of Christmas.
Piers Morgan tweeted a picture of the crowds and said: “Harrods yesterday afternoon.
“What a sick joke. Imagine how NHS workers feel seeing such selfish reckless behaviour?”
All across the capital, shoppers flocked to the streets despite warnings of the pandemic.
Large crowds were pictured on Oxford Street and Regent’s Street after the two shopping hotspots were pedestrianised in a bid to get people shopping after restrictions began to be eased last week.
Christmas markets in and around Nottingham were open as usual and attracts hundreds of people looking for festive gifts.
Out of the thousands of shoppers spotted across the country, only a handful were seen to be wearing face coverings.
Good Morning Britain host, Piers Morgan, lashed out at the photos from across the country saying it was “selfish reckless behaviour”.
Others took to social media to express their disgust as those ignoring the rules.
One man wrote: “I can’t visit my girls and grandson one to one in their home but apparently it’s ok to go to Nottingham Christmas Market.
“What a joke these rules are.”
Another said: “As a nurse, we are run down to the bone that’s in Nottingham. QMC turn away patients.
“Half staff are off with covid the rest of us are so knackered and not had a holiday some have been cancelled don’t speak like you know what it’s like
it’s HARD. Many even quit their job.”
When announcing the ease of the second lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the public not to allow the virus to “flare up again” and force another lockdown in January.
He said: “By maintaining the pressure on the virus we can also enable people to see more of their family and friends over Christmas.
“I can’t say Christmas will be normal this year but in a period of adversity, time spent with loved ones is even more precious for people of all faiths and none.
“We all want some kind of Christmas. We need it, we certainly feel we deserve it.
“But what we don’t want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into a national lockdown in January.
“So to allow families to come together while minimising the risk, we are working with the devolved administrations on a special time-limited Christmas dispensary, embracing the entire United Kingdom and reflecting the ties of kinship across our islands.”
Mr Johnson also warned it is up to families to make a “careful judgement” on visiting elderly relatives.
Mr Johnson continued: “But this virus obviously is not going to grant a Christmas truce. It doesn’t know it’s Christmas.
“Families will need to make a careful judgement about visiting elderly relatives.”
He also said Christmas cannot be “more than a long road to spring” but reassured the “escape route is in sight”.