People Queue Outside Primark From Early Hours On First Day Of Reopening
The end of the country's second lockdown means the reopening of non-essential shops, salons, gyms and pubs - and some people wasted no time going on a shopping spree.
It comes as communities secretary Robert Jenrick recently allowed shops to temporarily open for 24 hours in the run up to Christmas, should they choose.
Primark is one of the shops adapting to the new rules, with 11 of it stores - including branches in Sheffield, London, Birimingham and Manchester - opening from 7am today until close on Thursday, 3rd December. (Use the store locator to find out your local's opening hours here.)
Pictures on social media showed shoppers flocking outside Primark and other high street stores - like TK Maxx, Foot Locker, JD Sports and Debenhams to get their shopping fix after a month of only being permitted to head out to buy essential goods.
In Birmingham today, around 40 were visible waiting to beat the early morning rush. Meanwhile, in London, keen shoppers also waited outside stores on Oxford Street to do their Christmas shopping.
Newcastle saw similar scenes, as people flocked to the shops before they were even officially open.
While the end of lockdown means shopping can resume, under the government's new stricter tiered system, many will still be under strict Covid-19 restrictions limiting their other freedoms.
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Those in Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and Kent are currently living in tier three, which means they aren't allowed to mix indoors and hospitality venues are shut for visitors.
The rest of the UK is in tier two, apart from Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly, in tier one.
To prepare for shoppers to return to stores, retailers have been rigorously ensuring their buildings are safe for customers, deep cleaning the premises, ensuring social distancing and installing hand sanitiser stations to ensure they're readily available.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: "Thousands of retailers are looking forward to welcoming back customers.
"Safety remains the biggest priority for retailers, who have spent hundreds of millions to make stores Covid-secure.
"With billions in sales lost during lockdown, stores are looking to offer a safe and enjoyable shopping experience to bring back customers.
"Christmas is around the corner so everyone has a reason to be visiting their local shops.
"Every purchase we make is a retailer helped, a job protected and a local community supported."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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