HIGH streets will buzz with shoppers again as non-essential retailers reopen today.
Stores can welcome back customers today under the second stage of the Prime Minister’s four-step roadmap for lifting lockdown.
Clothes and homeware retailers are among those that can open their doors again, Boris Johnson confirmed today.
Speaking at a Downing St press conference, he said: “The net result of your efforts and the vaccine rollout is I can today confirm that from Monday, 12 April we will move to step two of our roadmap reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday camp sites, hairdressers and beer gardens, and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.”
Shops which don’t sell essentials have been closed since January 4, when the third lockdown was introduced.
Four tests for lifting lockdown restrictions
Boris Johnson’s staged approach for exiting lockdown will depend on the data and there will be four tests for lifting lockdown measures:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
- Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
It’s the third time in a year that shops have been ordered to temporarily shut – before January’s lockdown, they closed in November for the second national lockdown in England.
When stores reopened on December 2, many had extended opening hours to make up for lost shopping time and ensure Covid safety.
Here’s what you can expect when stores reopen today:
Dunelm told The Sun it is planning to open all stores today.
The homeware retailer does not currently have any plans to keep stores open for 24 hours.
Shoppers wanting to avoid shopping in store can still shop online at Dunelm for home delivery or click and collect at some locations.
You can check the opening times for Dunelm stores using its online store finder tool.
John Lewis has said it will also reopen stores today.
The department store previously said in a statement: “Following the Prime Minister’s announcement… we will start to plan for the reopening of our John Lewis shops in England.
“We will await further guidance from the devolved administrations for those John Lewis shops in Wales and Scotland.”
John Lewis closed its doors in January under lockdown rules, and later said it would also suspend click and collect to encourage shoppers to stay at home.
The retailer then brought back the service at John Lewis stores at the end of March.
Shoppers can also still buy online for home delivery, or collect their order from their nearest Waitrose store.
You can check the opening times for John Lewis stores when reopens today using its online store finder tool.
Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown
PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the “four steps to freedom” are met.
- Hospitality outdoors
- Self-catered staycations with one household
- Indoor hospitality
- Indoor exercise gyms
- Bingo halls
- Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
It is unclear when branches in Northern Ireland and Wales will reopen.
When the high street favourite opened its doors again after the last lockdown lifted in December some Primark stores were open for 24 hours.
Shoppers have been unable to get hold of bargain clothes from Primark during this lockdown and previous ones.
Online shopping is unavailable and Primark bosses have said they won’t introduce it despite having billions of pounds worth of unsold stock and millions of pounds of lost profits.
Stores have been closed except for picking up online orders via click and collect since January when the latest lockdown started.
But the high street brand will be able to open its doors to shoppers from today under the roadmap plans.
All Argos stores, and Argos stores in Sainsbury’s supermarkets, will open today.
Argos has said it’s busiest times are between 3pm and 5pm – but it’s less bust at the start of the day.
Clarks stores have remained closed because of the latest lockdown restrictions – but shoppers have still been able to online.
The good news is parents can pick up new school shoes in person today.
The shoe shop will reopen all Clarks stores under normal opening times.
You can find out when these are for your local branch using its online store finder tool.
H&M stores have remained closed because of lockdown, but will open today.
It’s stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland still remain temporarily closed.
You can find out where your nearest H&M is using its store locator tool on the shop’s website.
You can still get your fashion fix by shopping with H&M online for home delivery if you want to avoid shopping in store.
JD Sports stores have been closed since the start of the the third national lockdown in England – but will reopen today.
JD Sports will open on April 12 in line with government guidelines and with safety measures in place like social distancing.
The sports store will have extended opening hours at some shops where it’s allowed to based on local council and landlord rules.
This could include 24 hour opening in locations where there are shoppers overnight.
The sports chain is still offering click and collect from selected stores, or you can still order online for home delivery.
But M&S branches that only sell clothing, homeware and beauty products have remained closed in line with the latest government restrictions.
But these stores will be able to open their doors on April 12 – you can check where your nearest one is using M&S’ online store finder tool.
Shoppers can still buy online for home delivery and click and collect.
Shops allowed to stay open
AN increasing number of retailers are currently allowed to open, they include:
- Takeaways and food deliveries
- Health shops
- Medical services – eg, dentists
- Pet shops
- Hardware stores
- Retail shops in hospitals
- Petrol stations
- Bicycle shops
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Banks, building societies
- Short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
- Storage and distribution centres
- Post Offices
- Car rental services and car parks near vital services such as supermarkets
- Public toilets
- Car garages and repair shops
- Food banks and shelters
- Homeware stores
- Garden centres
- Car show rooms
- Outdoor markets
Like other non-essential retailers, Matalan closed during lockdown except for picking up click and collect orders made online at selected stores.
But now, it has announced it will reopen today.
You can check where your nearest branch is using Matalan’s store finder tool on its website.
You can also still continue shopping online for home delivery or click and collect if you want to avoid shopping in stores.
New Look stores have remained closed during lockdown but shoppers could still buy online from its website.
Like other non-essential retailers, it is allowed to open its doors again to shoppers today under the government’s roadmap.
New Look told The Sun it plans to open all stores in England today and currently has no plans to open for 24 hours in any location.
Next had to close under the lockdown rules, but let people pick up online orders made online from some stores with click and collect.
The shop plans to open its stores on April 12 with normal opening hours.
Exactly when these are will depend on the location and store type.
You can check which services are available at your local store using Next’s online store finder.
Shoppers can also continue to buy things online for home delivery.
Shoezone is among the list of non-essential shops who had to close under lockdown restrictions.
But the retailer will now reopen in line with the government’s guidance today.
You can check your local store’s opening times with it’s online tool.
You can still order online for home delivery.
Sports Direct remained closed under lockdown rules but will open from April 12.
Fraser Group, which owns brands such as Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Game and Jack Wills, told The Sun it will reopen all stores today in line with government guidance.
However, it added that while it plans to open as quickly as possible, the safety of its workers and customers is “paramount”.
For now, you can still shop online with Sports Direct for home delivery or click and collect at some stores.
The opening hours of its stores will vary depending on where you’re planning to shop – you can check the opening times for your local store on the Sports Direct website.
Toy chain The Entertainer will reopen all stores in England today.
It told The Sun it currently has no plans for extended opening hours.
The Entertainer is also yet to announce when stores in Scotland and Wales will reopen.
In November, The Entertainer temporarily closed seven of its England shops due to lockdown – but the rest offered click and collect.
Working from home measures will remain in place until at least June.
A full list of businesses that must stay closed was revealed in February – with cinemas and bingo halls to stay closed until May 17.