HIGH streets are set to buzz with shoppers again after it was announced non-essential retailers can reopen from April 12.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his roadmap for lifting lockdown and getting the country back to normal.
Clothes and homeware retailers are among those that will be able to open their doors again – as long as coronavirus infection rates continue to fall.
Primark, John Lewis and Dunelm all plan to let customers enter stores on the first day allowed, along with H&M and JD Sport.
Shops which don’t sell essentials have been closed since January 4, when the third lockdown was introduced.
Under plans for reopening the country – and provided the data supports it – high street stores will be able to open again in England from Monday April 12th.
Last time non-essential retailers opened up was after the second lockdown last year.
Stores reopened on December 2, 2020 and many had extended opening hours to make up for lost shopping time and ensure covid safety.
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.
Dunelm told The Sun it is planning to open all stores from April 12.
The homeware retailer does not have any current plans to keep stores open for 24 hours.
Shoppers can still shop online at Dunelm while lockdown continues, for home delivery or click and collect at some locations.
You can check the opening times for Dunelm stores when it does reopen using its online store finder tool.
John Lewis has said it is planning for the reopening of stores according to the government’s roadmap.
That means if all is on track that they will reopen on April 12.
The department store said in a statement: “Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on the proposed road map for April, which is dependent on a number of conditions being met, 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 the lockdown rules, and later said it would also suspend click and collect to encourage shoppers to stay at home.
We’ve asked if there are any plans for this service to return during lockdown.
Shoppers can still buy online for home delivery while lockdown continues.
You can check the opening times for John Lewis stores when it does reopen 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. Here’s what we know so far:
- 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
Primark will reopen stores on April 12.
A Primark spokesperson told The Sun: “Primark welcomes the news that we have a provisional opening date of 12 April for our stores in England.
“We know our customers will be thrilled and we can’t wait to welcome them back into our stores.
“Our priority will be to do that safely, building on all the lessons we have learnt across our European operations in the past year.”
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.
The high street brand will be able to open its doors to shoppers from April 12 under the roadmap plans.
It has not announced any plans yet for reopening but we’ll let you know when they do.
The retailer said that safety remains a priority and that it continues to follow government guidelines – and it will keep customers and staff updated on its plans.
Clarks stores are also closed because of the latest lockdown restrictions – but you can still shop online.
The good news is parents can pick up new school shoes in person soon.
The shoe shop will reopen all Clarks stores open when they are legally allowed to – so in England this is April 12.
There will be normal opening times at Clarks stores and you can find opening times at your local branch using its online store finder tool.
H&M stores remain closed because of the lockdown, but under the roadmap will open when allowed.
That means if everything remains on track, H&M stores could open from April 12.
A spokesperson told The Sun: “H&M continues to follow all government guidance across all regions of the UK and Ireland and we welcomed the roadmap yesterday.
“We look forward to reopening once we have confirmation from the government we are able to do so.”
In the meantime you can still get your fashion fix by shopping with H&M online for home delivery until lockdown is lifted.
JD Sports stores have been closed since the start of the the third national lockdown in England.
The sports chain has not been offering click and collect either, saying the service is temporarily unavailable, but you can still order online for home delivery.
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 stores 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.
Some Marks and Spencer stores have been open during lockdown.
That’s because its food sections are allowed to be open under the lockdown rules.
Places selling food like supermarkets are “essential” and that goes for M&S Food Halls.
But M&S branches that only sell clothing, homeware and beauty products are closed for now, in line with the latest government restrictions.
These will reopen in line with government guidance the high street store has confirmed and its working to the roadmap.
That means if coroanvirus infection rates continue falling, among other test measures, these stores will open their doors on April 12.
Shoppers can still buy online for home delivery and click and collect before lockdown ends.
You can check if your local M&S is open using its online store finder tool.
When the previous lockdown was lifted last year, M&S opened stores for longer in the run up to Christmas.
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 is closed in lockdown except for picking up click and collect orders made online at selected stores.
To see whether your local store is offering a click and collect service, shoppers should use Matalan’s store finder tool on its website.
Matalan has not yet revealed its plans for reopening but we’ve asked and will update when we hear back.
New Look stores are closed during lockdown but you can buy online from its website.
Like other non-essential retailers, it will be allowed to open its doors again to shoppers from April 12 under the government’s roadmap.
We’ve asked New Look of all stores will open on this date and will let you know what they say.
Next is closed under the lockdown rules, but has let people pick up online orders made online from some stores with click and collect.
Shoppers can also buy things online for home delivery.
You can check what service are available at your local store using Next’s online store finder.
Boris Johnson’s reopening roadmap allows for Next and other non-essential retailers to open from April 12, provided the covid infection rate data supports it.
We’ve asked Next if it plans to open all stores then and will let you know what they say.
Shoezone is among the non-essential shops closed under lockdown restrictions – but you can order online for home delivery.
The retailer will reopen in line with the government’s guidance, so that means April 12 if everything is on track.
You can check your local store’s opening times with it’s online tool.
Sports Direct is closed under the current lockdown rules but could be allowed to open from April 12.
We’ve asked if it will open all stores on this date and will let you know when we hear back.
For now, you can still shop online with Sports Direct for home delivery or click and collect at some stores.
You can check the opening times for your local store on the Sports Direct website.
Before shops open again, students will return to England schools from March 8.
Meanwhile, pubs will reopen for indoor drinking in May after outdoor service returns in April.