Eager shoppers in Northamptonshire have been particularly excited to see fashion retailer Primark to reopen following months of closure, with many seen waiting outside the Grosvenor Centre from 7am this morning.
Keen not to miss out on any bargains, some excited shoppers even brought along suitcases with them for the 8am opening.
School pupils in uniform were also seen ahead of their lessons restarted after the Easter holidays ready to do some shopping, as well as workers in high-vis vests bagging some deals.
‘Wasn’t as crowded as we thought it would be’
One shopper told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “It was pretty good to finally be back to Primark.
“I needed basics. I wear tights on a daily basis and these are the only ones that fit properly, so I had to come today.
“It wasn’t as crowded as we thought it would be, but we were about third in the queue. We’re going to have a nose round other shops too.”
Another shopper who arrived at around 7:40am also added: “It was alright to be back but we were a bit disappointed with this store.
“We’d seen a lot of stuff on TikTok which they didn’t have. We did manage to pick up some bits though. We weren’t looking for anything in particular, we just wanted to come down because we hadn’t been shopping for so many months.”
‘Please behave responsibly’
As well as non-essential retail, beer gardens and outdoor dining areas are also welcoming back customers once again, plus hairdressers, indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail salons and zoos in England will also be opening for the first time in 2021.
Social mixing indoors will remain heavily restricted, with around two in five adults still yet to receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine - and a majority yet to get both jabs.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged caution during what he called a “major step forward”.
He said: “I’m sure it will be a huge relief to those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed.
“I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember “hands, face, space and fresh hair” to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme.”