In pictures: Huge queues as non-essential shops reopen in England as lockdown eases

There were long queues outside some stores on Monday as shops reopened in England for the first time since March.

Thousands of non-essential shops were allowed to reopen as part of the next phase of the government’s easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

Customers have been encouraged to go out and spend but to “be sensible” in their approach, as the government seeks to begin reopening the economy “gradually and carefully”.

Long queues were seen at Primark stores across the country, with dozens of keen shoppers waiting outside branches of the budget clothes store in Birmingham, Derby, Liverpool and Nottingham.

Small-business minister Paul Scully insisted it was safe to shop, noting the new looks many stores will have as they attempt to ensure social distancing and good hygiene among staff and customers.

He told BBC Breakfast: “The high street is going to be a different place to what it was before, with the one-way systems, with the hand sanitisers, and with people not trying clothes on in the same way.

“But, nonetheless, it is safe to shop. I would encourage people to be sensible, work with the people in the shop but do go out and shop, and start opening our economy gradually and carefully.”

Zoos and safari parks are also welcoming back visitors on Monday, and places of worship can open for private prayer while some secondary school pupils will begin returning to their classrooms.

Boris Johnson said he did not know whether to expect “a flood or a trickle” when the shops reopened but that he hoped people would return in “sensible” numbers.

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A staff member in a face mask and guard serves drinks at Kuula Poke restaurant in Birmingham on Monday as shops in England reopened after three months.
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Customers inside Primark in Oxford Street, London, as non-essential shops in England open their doors to customers for the first time since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were imposed.
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A shop assistant wears PPE in Bristol as non-essential shops in England reopened on Monday.
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Shop staff in face masks give a round of applause to the first customers through the doors at the Fenwick store in Newcastle.
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Shoppers leave Primark in Birmingham as non-essential shops in England opened their doors to customers for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.
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Social distancing signs in Kingston, south London, as non-essential shops reopen in England.
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Customers shopping in Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London, as it reopens its doors on Monday.
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Shoppers queue outside TK Maxx in Kingston, south London, as non-essential shops in England reopened on Monday.
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Shoppers in line wait for the opening of Primark in Birmingham.
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Queues form at Primark at the Rushden Lakes shopping complex on Monday.
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Queues form at Primark at the Rushden Lakes shopping complex after reopening on Monday.
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People push to enter the Niketown shop in London on Monday.
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A man takes a selfie as people queue outside the Niketown shop in central London.
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People queue outside shops in Canterbury on Monday.
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People queue outside the Niketown shop in London.
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Shoppers queue outside Primark in Birmingham on Monday.
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People wait in line for the opening of the Selfridges department store in London on Monday.
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Nike employees speak to people queueing outside the Niketown shop in London attempting to get them to maintain social distancing.
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People push to enter the Niketown shop in London on Monday.
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A staff member works behind a counter protected by a perspex screen at a traditional sweet shop in York on Monday.
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A member of staff cleans before Caffè Concerto on Piccadilly in London reopens.
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People queue to enter London Zoo as it reopens on Monday.
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Customers are instructed to use hand sanitiser upon entering a Primark store on Oxford Street, London.
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People queue outside shops in Canterbury, Kent, on Monday.
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Shoppers queue at Primark in Birmingham as non-essential shops in England open their doors to customers for the first time since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were imposed in March.
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A shopper wearing a PPE suit arrives at Primark in Birmingham on Monday.
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A customer dressed in PPE in line to shop at Primark in Birmingham.
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Hundreds of shoppers stand in line ahead of the store reopening at Primark in Birmingham on Monday.
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