HOMEWARE stores are now allowed to reopen as the Government takes steps to slowly ease lockdown rules.
But it won't be like it was before the coronavirus crisis – shoppers will only be able to browse in stores as long as they abide by strict social distancing measures.
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Customers will also be able to order goods online to be delivered or for click and collect purposes.
Matalan has become one of the first homeware stores to announce plans to reopen after temporarily shutting up shop eight weeks ago.
All non-essential shops were ordered by the Government to close on March 23 in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a three-stage roadmap for getting the country back on its feet.
It comes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned that the UK is facing a "never-seen-before" recession due to the pandemic.
For now, here's a round-up of what stores can reopen as the lockdown measures are eased:
Which homeware stores have reopened?
Homeware stores have been added to the Government's list of retailers that are allowed to open during the coronavirus lockdown.
COVID-19 secure guidelines for non-essential shops
BEFORE non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen they must ensure that:
- Individuals are able to keep their distance from people outside of their households,
- They're reducing the risk of transmission by limiting the number of people that individuals come into contact with,
- Changing shift patterns to reduce the number of people in the office at one time,
- Keeping workspaces ventilated.
But shops must make sure that customers are able to remain two-metres apart from each other when visiting.
There are the homeware stores that have reopened:
Matalan opened 15 stores in England from Monday May 18.
Bosses have assured customers that stores that the stores are fully compliant with social distancing rules and staff have been issued with mandatory PPE.
The stores that it will be reopening are large and spacious branches that arelocated on out of town retail parks that run a click and collect service.
High street stores, stores in shopping centres, clearance stores and stores in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will remain closed.
A statement on the retailer's website said that the retailer is "extremely happy" to welcome back customers and it thanked staff for "their huge efforts" during the crisis.
The stores that opened on May 18 include:
- Bradford Green Gates
- Leeds Halton
- Milton Keynes
- Osterley Park/Southall
- Walsall – North
Dunelm opened 39 stores from Monday May 18 with social distancing and safety measures in place.
If the trial is successful, it hopes to open more stores over the coming weeks.
But even though the stores will be open, the Pausa coffee shops situated inside branches will remain closed.
You can find the full list of stores that have reopened – and their opening times – here.
In the meantime, you can still order goods online and opt to click and collect from your nearest store.
What shops or premises are allowed to reopen?
These are the stores that are allowed to open during lockdown:
- 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 socities
- Short-term loan providers, credit unions and cash points
- Storage and distribtion 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
What shops or premises must stay closed?
- Non-essential shops, including electronics and clothing stores
- Hairdressers and nail salons
- Indoor and outdoor markets, excluding food markets
- Youth centres, libraries and community centres
- Leisure centres, such as bowling alleys and soft play centres
- Playgrounds and outdoor gyms
- Places of worship
- Hotels, B&Bs, hostels – unless key workers or permanent residents
Those who are in desperate need for a haircut will have to wait until July 4 at the earliest, when the Government plans to give these businesses the go-ahead to reopen.
But there have been many warnings from officials that life won't go back to the way it was, even when most firms, like pubs, are allowed to reopen.
From plastic screens separating punters, to an alcohol limit per visit, we’ve rounded up what changes could be in place when you finally get to visit your local again.
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