- Huge queues formed outside high-street retailers that reopened in the UK on Monday, with many people ignoring social distancing rules early in the day.
- Nike’s flagship store on Oxford Street in London saw around 400 people forming a line around the block, according to media reports, as it opened its doors for the first time in three months.
- Elsewhere, fashion retailer Primark was also seen pulling in large groups of people lining up for discounted apparel outside several of its branches.
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As non-essential retailers in the UK reopened their doors to the public on Monday, June 15, large queues of people reportedly lined up outside stores awaiting their turn to enter.
As part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest government guidance, non-essential shops, zoos, safari parks, and drive-in cinemas are a few of the spaces that are permitted to reopen Monday onwards.
Other businesses, including pubs, restaurants, and hair salons are expected to remain shut until at least July 4 as the economy prepares to reopen in phases.
Retailers are meant to adhere to strict government safety guidelines inside stores, such as maintenance of social distancing, using face coverings, and increased frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning.
But that seemed like quite a task as scores of customers were found gathering at very close quarters outside the stores on the very first day of store reopenings.
Here’s a look at some stores that saw huge queues in the UK:
Shoppers longing to hit high-street retailers were reportedly found queuing overnight to be at the front, forcing shops to open early in order to cope with high demand.
Primark’s flagship store in Birmingham, UK saw queues stretching around the shop and along a street behind the retailer, long before it opened at 7.20 a.m.
Similar queues were seen outside Nike, Sports Direct, and John Lewis with shoppers arriving before dawn or found sleeping outside ahead of opening time.
To avoid large gatherings inside, shops are allowing only limited numbers of customers to enter, leaving desperate shoppers to hang on outside.
Most staff behind the tills will be protected by a glass or plastic screen and are expected to wear personal protective equipment and high-vis jackets.
Shoppers are expected to be discouraged from trying on clothes and will be required to make use of hand-sanitizer stations placed at the entrance of the shops.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he hopes the reopening of retail will help the economy bounce back from three months of the coronavirus lockdown.
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