High street shops re-open from Monday – here’s everything you need to know

Can you try clothes on?
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During the UK lockdown, we’ve only been able to buy clothes online – but with non-essential shops re-opening in England and Wales from Monday, we’re so excited to head to the high street again.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen us in a third lockdown since January 2021, but after three long months, it’s finally set to ease from Monday.

As well as clothes shops, hairdressers, pubs and gyms will also re-open in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while the re-opening of non-essential retail in Scotland is expected a little later from 26 April at the earliest.

Many of us will want to continue getting our shopping fix online (ASOS’ free delivery has us hooked), but for those excited to visit the high street, here’s everything you need to know.

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Can I try clothes on?

Yes. It’s been a long time since we’ve been allowed to try before we buy, but from Monday 12 April, we’ll finally be able to try clothes on in-store again.

Social distancing measures will remain in place and it’s expected that shop assistants will be sanitising the changing rooms between visits, so expect delays.

Is it safe to try clothes on?

To keep the process as safe as possible, clothes will need to be held off the shop floor for 24-48 hours after being tried on for them to be safe. Alternatively clothes that have previously been tried on will be steamed before another customer can try them on.

Will I need to queue to get into stores?

Yes. Stores will have a limit of people allowed inside at one time, so you’ll be expected to queue outside before being allowed in. Social distancing measures will be in place in these queues, just like they have been for takeaway food and drink venues over lockdown.

Will social distancing still be in place?

Yes. Social distancing is still expected, with the guidelines suggesting being two metres apart from others at all time. If that’s not possible, keeping a distance of one metre can reduce risk too.

Can I pay with cash?

Many stores prefer card and contactless payments, but some will accept cash.

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