A look inside as socially distanced shops prepare to reopen tomorrow

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A look inside as socially distanced shops prepare to reopen tomorrow

Shops across England are making final prepartions to reopen on Monday, June 15 having been closed since the end of March.

Changes to the lockdown rules mean that most non-essential retailers will be allowed to reopen as long as they have taken safety precautions.

That will include limiting the number of people in store at any one time, controlling queues, installing perspex screens, setting up one-way systems, closing changing rooms and taking all stock off the shelves if it has been touched – for a 72-hour quarantine.

There will also be new hand cleaning stations with some stores asking people to wear face covering, and there will be new signage to enforce two-metre social distancing.

Once inside arrows taped onto the ground will show customers which way to go, in order to minimise contact with others.

Shoppers will have to queue at the till on markers spaced two metres from each other.

Debehams will be along those reopening – although 20 branches will stay shut amid financial problems.

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Other chains which have had financial difficulties and won’t be reopening include Oasis, Warehouse, Monsoon Accessorize and Cath Kidston.

Shoppers are already back on high streets in Northern Ireland as retailers returned to business after three months of lockdown this weekend.

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All non-essential shops were able to reopen on Friday as the region became the first part of the UK to make the move.

The majority of shops in the Irish Republic are already back trading.

In Belfast, footfall was still considerably down on pre-pandemic levels on Friday morning, with bad weather likely putting off some people from heading back to the city centre.

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Those customers who did venture out were met with a range of new hygiene and social distancing measures, both in and outside retail outlets.

There were queuing systems in place, screens at tills and several shop workers wore masks.

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From Saturday, people living alone have been able to spend time indoors with one other household without any social distancing restrictions.

That enables grandparents living on their own to reunite and hug with their children and grandchildren once again.

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Also from Monday everyone will have to wear a face-covering on public transport – except for young children and anyone with breathing difficulties.

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