Martin Lewis details whether shops can refuse to accept cash
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Non-essential shops will open again from next Monday, April 12. Some clothing shops will also open their changing rooms for customers to try on their clothes, but not all.
The Government’s roadmap out of lockdown plans are going ahead as anticipated, with non-essential shops in England opening for the first time since January next Monday.
Changing rooms in shops will however reopen for the first time since March 2020, as when non-essential shops reopened last summer, changing rooms were still shut due to hygiene reasons.
However, some clothing stores are still uncertain if they should open their changing rooms to customers from next week.
Primark has said it will be keeping changing rooms closed but the retailer told The Sun that it will be keeping things “under review”.
Like before the third lockdown, the retailer will be implementing safety measures, such as ensuring that customers wear a face covering on entering and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Marks and Spencer has confirmed that it will not be opening fitting rooms when shops open again next week.
However, the retailer is starting up its bra-fitting service again.
Customers will be able to book appointments for “no contact” fittings and a member of staff will be on hand to advise shoppers on how to measure themselves.
Next is still uncertain if it should reopen fitting rooms or not.
The retailer is looking at implementing extra safety measures to be able to reopen its fitting rooms, but, currently, it has said that it will not be reopening them on April 12.
The clothing shops that are reopening their fitting rooms from next week include John Lewis, H&M, and River Island.
John Lewis will be reopening its 34 stores in England and Wales: a number that has decreased since the start of the pandemic as the retailer has been forced to shut 16 stores over the past year.
Fitting rooms will be open, as well as other in-store services such as children’s shoe fittings and home design services.
H&M has said that it will open some of its fitting rooms next week, but not all.
A H&M spokesperson said: “We look forward to welcoming our colleagues and customers back to our stores.
“We are pleased to be reopening some of our fitting rooms, as per the government guidelines,” they added.
River Island will also be reopening most of its changing rooms from next Monday.
Despite reopening fitting rooms to customers, clothing stores will still be implementing coronavirus safety measures, such as ensuring that shoppers wear a mask, sanitise their hands, and follow social distancing guidelines.
The Government’s guidance for stores, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has also advised shops to deploy a staff member to control entry to changing rooms and allow only one person at a time into a cubicle.
Additionally, shop managers are advised to leave a gap of “several minutes” between customers and to clean cubicles regularly.
The guidance added that retailers should introduce “procedures to manage clothes that have been tried on, to minimise contact between customers and staff”.
It did not say if clothes should be put in quarantine after being tried on by a customer.
The guidance stated: “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.”
On April 12, as well as non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, and pubs will also be reopening.
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