The days are getting longer and sunnier, and everyone's starting to crave those delicious summertime rituals - lunch in the park, a chilled glass of rosé, and maybe shopping for a cheeky new Zara dress to refresh your summer wardrobe. Err, the country is still in relative lockdown, though. When will Zara reopen, and what about the rest of the high street?
When will retail stores reopen?
The government has classed businesses into two categories: essential and non-essential. Essential businesses, deemed highly necessary for survival like grocery stores, pharmacies, newsagents, and post offices, have mostly remained open. Non-essential retailers, including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets can reopen from 15th June. Outdoor markets can reopen on 1st June.
When will Zara open again?
As you might've already guessed, Zara falls under the category of 'non-essential retailer'. "In line with the current guidelines we plan to open UK stores on June 15th," a representative for the brand confirms to Cosmopolitan UK.
Notably, Boris Johnson said the loosening of restrictions for non-essential shops is "contingent upon progress" of lowering COVID-19 infection rates and avoiding a second peak.
What will it be like?
If you've gone out for a food shop lately, you'll probably have guessed that we're not going to be able to go back to the 'normal' high street shopping experience just yet. Social distancing and safety measures will need to be in place to protect both workers and customers.
According to a Zara representative, the chain will "have measures in place" set to be revealed closer to the opening date to ensure they are "fully aligned with the UK requirements."
The British Retail Consortium has issued suggestions of how non-food retailers should prepare:
- limiting the number of people in-store at once
- encouraging customers to shop alone where possible
- scheduling deliveries to avoid crowding
- regularly cleaning door handles, lift buttons and hand rails
- using floor markings to remind customers to maintain a distance of 2m
Other things you might see in businesses moving forward: hand sanitiser stations, plastic partitions, socially-distanced queues, workers wearing masks and gloves, and far less direct contact with shop staff.
What can we do in the meantime?
The good news is, until 15th June, plenty of retailers are still open for business online. You might have to wait a tad longer for your package to arrive (warehouses are rightfully looking out for the health of their workers), but you can still get that new midi dress for your back garden barbecue (with your flatmates, ofc).
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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