Tesco and Sainsbury’s have reportedly closed off parts of their stores following updated government guidance amid England’s lockdown.

The country entered its second and month-long lockdown on Thursday.

And on Friday the government issued further guidance on which retailers in England are considered essential and what they are permitted to sell.

Now, several supermarkets have closed areas in stores are deemed as “non-essential”.

Shoppers have since taken to Twitter to complain to Tesco and Sainsbury’s about not being able to access clothes and other parts of their shops across England.

Tesco is advising that staff could help people get what they want if they ask.

A Tesco spokesperson said: "In line with new government guidance in England which requires the closure of separate floors selling non-food items, we have closed the Clothing and General Merchandise departments in our stores that sell these products from a separate mezzanine level."

The guidance from the UK government said: "Where a business has sufficiently distinct parts, and one section provides essential retail and one section provides non-essential retail, the non-essential sections should close to limit interactions between customers and the opportunity for the disease to spread.

"Sufficiently distinct sections might involve operating in separate buildings, across separate floors, a door between sections, using separate cashiers, or another clear demarcation between sections.

News Shopper: Sainsbury’s has reportedly closed off parts of storesSainsbury’s has reportedly closed off parts of stores

"For example a food shop may stay open, but a homeware section on a separate floor or separate building should close."

The guidance adds that shops are not required to cordon off particular aisles, and that "a business selling a significant amount of essential retail may also continue to sell goods typically sold at non-essential retail".

The British Retail Consortium, which represents the industry, said the new guidance creates "arbitrary" lines over what is or is not essential.

Tom Ironside, director of business and regulations at the BRC, said: "The retail industry has invested hundreds of millions of pounds to make stores safe and secure for customers and we don't believe that any retailers should be required to close.

"The new regulations create arbitrary lines over what is and isn't an 'essential' retailer.

"Unfortunately for many people, this means they cannot visit shops to get the items that are essential to them, from the home office equipment and electronics they need for work, or the pots, pans, fridges and freezers they need during lockdown."

He says the BRC is estimating that closed shops will lose out on £2bn a week and it is essential they be allowed to open - and stay open - from early December.