All the new rules shoppers in England must follow when visiting Primark, B&Q, Argos and IKEA from April 12

7 April 2021, 07:10

There will be strict new social distancing rules for shoppers
There will be strict new social distancing rules for shoppers. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Non-essential retail can finally open again in England from April 12, but there are strict new rules for shoppers.

On Monday, Boris Johnson announced that all non essential shops in England could welcome customers for the first time since January.

But while this means the high street will once again be open to shoppers, there are some strict new rules which we all have to abide by in order to keep each other safe.

No household mixing

Firstly, indoor mixing is still not permitted and customers must only shop with their households or bubbles.

While the Rule of Six has returned outside, this doesn’t apply to the high street.

Shoppers will have to continue to wear masks indoors
Shoppers will have to continue to wear masks indoors. Picture: PA Images

Longer opening hours

Shops will have the flexibility to open for longer in a bid to kickstart the economy again.

Read More: Boris Johnson unveils ‘traffic light system’ for foreign holidays

This means they can stay open until 10pm Monday to Saturday.

Reduced numbers

As with supermarkets, non-essential shops will also have to reduce how many customers are allowed in at one time.

Queues may return as there will be a staggered entry system.

This is so social distancing measures can be followed at all times, with one way systems also introduced in many stores.

Changing rooms can open

In a change to previous rules, changing rooms will now be allowed to open, but they will work with heavily reduced numbers.

Government guidelines state: "The enclosed nature of fitting rooms may result in increased risk of transmission of Covid-19. They should therefore be carefully managed to reduce that risk.

"Retail businesses should update their risk assessments for each premises where fitting rooms are being used."

Face masks must be worn

Unless exempt, all customers must wear face masks when shopping inside otherwise they could face a hefty fine.

Argos will be allowed to reopen it's stores again
Argos will be allowed to reopen it's stores again. Picture: PA Images

Restaurants will remain closed

For large department stores - such as IKEA and Debenhams - restaurants will remain closed until May 17 in line with Government guidelines.

But IKEA bosses have confirmed their Bistros, which offer a contact-free takeaway service, will remain open along, as well as their Swedish Food Markets.

Country retail manager Peter Jelkeby said: "We’re really looking forward to welcoming customers safely back into our stores, inspiring people to live a better and more sustainable everyday through our range of affordable home furnishings.”

Now Read: Government confirms Covid vaccine passports may be used for holidays, pubs and football games