INTU Merry Hill is partially closed from today as the UK enters lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The shopping centre is mostly shut following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that all non-essential shops, such as clothes and electronic stores, must close as rules are tightened to enforce social distancing.

Pharmacies, supermarkets and banks in the centre remain open following government rules.

Bosses at the centre have warned opening times could vary and say a small number of centre staff are working to keep the centre clean and safe.

A statement on the intu Merry Hill website reads: "Following the Government’s update that all non-essential shops are to close, we can confirm that intu Merry Hill will now be operating on a partially closed basis. intu Merry Hill sits at the heart of its community and provides access to vital services such as pharmacies, supermarkets and banks.

"As many of these essential services can only be reached through the centre, we will ensure all our visitors are able to access the services they need whilst supporting those retailers who need to stay open.

"A small number of our team will be on hand to make sure our centres remain clean and safe places to visit. Opening times will vary so please check the website for details.

"We would like to thank our fantastic team at intu who are working very hard in very challenging circumstances, to support our retailers, serve our communities and take care of one another. Our thoughts are with everyone during this difficult time."

Under new lockdown measures people will only be allowed to leave their home for very limited purposes, such as to shop for food and medicine or to travel to work when absolutely necessary.

It comes after many people ignored recommended social distancing measures last week and over the weekend.