The three assay offices based in England are set to remain open during the upcoming nationwide lockdown, they have confirmed.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIt comes after prime minister Boris Johnson announced that the country would enter a nationwide lockdown from 5 November to 2 December.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe Edinburgh Assay Office in Scotland is exempt from lockdown, and will also continue to operate in the run-up to Christmas.\r\n\r\nHowever, the Goldmsith\u2019s Company Assay Office in London, said: \u201cWe are pleased to announce that we can remain open under new national restrictions which come into effect on 5 November.\u00a0 We will make regular updates throughout the developing situation.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe will continue to follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers. We ask that customers do not send work into Assay if the items have come into contact with anyone who has, or is showing symptoms of, Covid-19.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIt added: \u201cGovernment guidelines state that the virus can live up to around 72 hours when it is felt the risk from any contaminated surface would significantly decrease. Therefore please wait for this period to lapse before sending items that could potentially be contaminated.\r\n\r\n\u201cStaff members are at high risk with numerous packets transferred to us every day. A reminder that, as a precautionary measure for our staff, we can no longer accept cash at the counters.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe office added that it will be unable to amend any priority service packet detail in a bid to streamline its service at this time.\r\n\r\nAshley Carson, assay master and CEO at the Sheffield Assay Office said: \u201cWe are now preparing for a second lockdown from Thursday 5th November. The Office will remain open and we will continue to support the trade across both Hallmarking and Analytical Services.\r\n\r\n\u201cI would ask for your patience and understanding throughout this difficult time, as although my staff are working flat out, inevitably we are losing personnel to either positive COVID-19 tests or through them having to self-isolate due to Track & Trace.\u201d\r\n\r\nMeanwhile, the Birmingham Assay Office said it will continue to operate across all of its trading divisions during lockdown, adding that current lead times for all services remain unchanged at present, adding that \u201cif turnaround times need to be extended, we will advise you at the appropriate time\u201d.\u00a0\r\n\r\nIt added: \u201cParcels will continue to be despatched on the relevant due dates, however, if your business is closing and you would prefer us to retain your parcel during the lockdown, please notify us as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.\u00a0\r\n\r\nLikewise, if you wish to change the despatch address, please notify us.\u201d\r\n\r\nAll operating updates including opening hours, and service adaptations, are listed on their websites.