Queues and distancing as shoppers return to England’s high streets

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Published on June 16, 2020 by

There was the unfamiliar sight of shoppers on the high street today in England as clothes shops and department stores opened their doors for the first time since lockdown.

At one store in central London scuffles broke out as customers tried to cram in. But despite long, socially distant queues outside some retailers, the number of people taking the opportunity of some retail therapy was just a third of what it would usually be.

In Northern Ireland, non-essential shops reopened on Friday. In Scotland and Wales no date has yet been set.

Wearing a face covering on public transport became compulsory for the vast majority of travellers in England. Only children under the age of 11 and those with a legitimate health reason are exempt.

The rules don’t apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where officials are only recommending that people wear them.

Some secondary pupils in England facing GCSEs or A levels next year have returned to school to meet their teachers face-to-face for the first time since the lockdown began in March. All children in Wales will return at the end of this month, while Scottish and Northern Irish schools will reopen in August.

Fiona Bruce presents BBC News at Ten reports from Business Correspondent Emma Simpson, Transport Correspondent Tom Burridge and Education Editor Branwen Jeffreys.

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