Shopping early will help reduce the rush of Christmas shopping that normally happens late November and December and lower the risk of spreading coronavirus among shoppers, shop workers and delivery drivers.
Philip Whitehead, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “Undoubtedly this Christmas will feel different, but we can still make it a very special occasion.
“We are encouraging people to shop early to help retailers continue to provide a safe shopping experience for their customers and staff. It will help reduce long queues in shops in the run-up to Christmas, help maintain social distancing measures and prevent the last-minute rush to buy the final few gifts.
“Even though the rule of six means we may not be seeing as many friends and family over the Christmas period as normal, shopping early enables us to post their gifts in good time, so they know we are thinking of them on Christmas Day.
“We can still buy the perfect gifts for our loved ones and buying local supports our high streets and avoids disappointment if a local lockdown happens and shops are forced to close. Whilst we may still be able to buy online, purchasing gifts through sites such as Amazon does not protect our local shops, help keep local jobs or ensures Wiltshire’s economy remains vibrant and diverse in the future.
“Local shops and businesses have done so much to ensure they continue to be safe for their customers and their staff, it’s vital we continue to show them our support. We want everyone to stay safe this holiday season by social distancing, good hand hygiene, wearing face coverings where required, and to shop local and shop early.
"High streets throughout Wiltshire are full of independent retailers and small enterprises offering a wide range of locally produced, niche and essential every day products and services. These local shops and businesses are at the heart of our high streets and our local community, some of which are family-run or have been a feature in our communities for generations. By shopping early we are supporting these businesses to continue being safe places to shop and to remain on our high streets and thrive."