Non-Essential Shops Are Open In England and Wales – But What About The Rest Of The UK?

Your guide to what's going on.

when will shops reopen after lockdown

by Hannah Banks-Walker |
Updated on

Non-essential shops in England are officially open.

This marks a pivotal moment on the UK's four-stage 'road to freedom' of lockdown restrictions being eased; personal care services can now reopen (meaning, you can get a haircut), outdoor hospitality can resume, and indoor leisure centres - including swimming pools and gyms - can open their doors again.

This is very welcome news for the ailing retail sector. With so many businesses facing closure – news that Topshop's stores would all have to close brought further distress for the flailing high street – it's understandable that many have been anxious to open their doors once again.

Another date on the horizon to look forward to: June 21, the earliest that life will return to 'normal'. We might have a summer after all...

When can non-essential shops reopen again in England?

They're open! All non-essential shops are now open, with safety restrictions in place. For you ultimate guide to shopping post-lockdown, click here for all of the rules you'll need to follow if you visit the shops.

Pubs and restaurants with outside space are also allowed to open, along with gyms, beauty salons, hairdressers and leisure centres. Members of the same household are also permitted to stay in self-contained accommodation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: 'We think that these changes are fully justified by the data which show we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown.' If things continue to go to plan, this means that restaurants and pubs will be permitted to open their indoor areas from May 17.

When can non-essential shops reopen again in Scotland?

Non-essential shops are reopening as of April 26. Some non-essential shops, however, such as hairdressers and garden centres have been open since April 5. Non-essential click-and-collect services were also allowed to resume earlier this month.

When can non-essential shops reopen again in Wales?

All non-essential shops in Wales are open, the same as in England. Hairdressers and barbers in Wales are already open (they were permitted to do so from March 15) and garden centres could open as of March 22.

The Welsh government is also replacing lockdown rules with 'stay local', with First Minister Mark Drakeford explaining that 'The rule of thumb is that you should think of local as a five-mile radius from where you live but if you live in a valleys community or a rural area you can exercise your judgement and go a little bit further.'

Since March 13, up to four adults from two households can meet up in a private garden in Wales.

When can non-essential shops reopen again in Northern Ireland?

Non-essential retailers who operate outdoors were able to open on April 12, meaning that businesses including garden centres, nurseries, new and used car sales and car washes are all open again, as well as click-and-collect services that are deemed non-essential. Northern Ireland's stay-at-home order has also been lifted, replaced with guidance to 'stay local' instead.

All other non-essential retail is now due to open on April 30, while hairdressers and other close-contact services will be opening from April 23.

When will charity shops open again?

As charity shops are classed as a non-essential business, they will only be allowed to open in line with restrictions. This means that in England and Wales, charity shops are open but in Scotland and Northern Ireland, they remain closed. While charity shops in the UK are losing a great deal of money as they remain shut, there is some good news on the horizon. The Charity Retail Association toldThe Observer that it is expecting to see a boom in business when charity shops are able to reopen again.

Some charity shops, including Cancer Research, Oxfam, British Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation have online shops, so it is still possible to support these organisations. Do check each individual charity's website, however, for rules and regulations surrounding donations.

A survey conducted by Scope reveals the public's eagerness to return to charity shop. It reports that 58% of the British public think charity shops will play a vital role in high streets post lockdown, while one in five are more likely to visit a charity shop compared to before the pandemic.

When can hairdressers reopen?

Hairdressers and beauty salons in England are open. For everything you need to know about when hairdressers reopening, click here.

What are non-essential shops?

Non-essential shops include the following: clothes shops, homeware stores, betting shops, auction houses, technology shops, car showrooms, market stalls.

Many of these shops are offering and click and collect service while possible, meaning you can still purchase these goods online if the stores are still closed where you live.

What are essential shops?

Essential shops include supermarkets, pharmacies, off-licenses, garden centres, dry cleaners, banks, post offices, launderettes, pet shops, funeral directors and any market stall selling essential goods (i.e food).

Are florists open in lockdown?

While garden centres remain open, many florists have had to close their physical stores under lockdown restrictions. But many are offering delivery services and/or click and collect, meaning you can still order flowers online either for yourself or a loved one. And, of course, florists in England and Wales are now open.


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Arena Flowers Letterbox Spring Favourites

Surprise mum with the sweetest of gifts this Mother's Day – an assortment of delicate spring tulips and hyacinths delivered straight through the letterbox. Sure to bring a smile to her face when she lifts the lid, they're just waiting for her to arrange them into a glorious bouquet of her own design.Arena Flowers is also donating £1 from every Mother's Day bouquet sold to Sue Ryder, meaning those who are able to send flowers and celebrate the day will help fund support for those who sadly can't.

Flowerbx Avalanche Rose2 of 13

Flowerbx Avalanche Rose

A timeless classic, the white rose will no doubt delight your mother or your mum-friend if you were looking for a bouquet this Mother's Day. This variety opens over time to reveal a beautiful full shape and prides itself on being a long-lasting floral choice.

Arena Flowers Abundance of Tulips3 of 13

Arena Flowers Abundance of Tulips

Cheer up mum with this colourful bouquet of tulips. This beautiful hand-tied selection is simple yet sumptuous, bringing together bright blooms that make the perfect way to show mum you care.

By Bloom Ballet Slipper Pink Ranunculus4 of 13

By Bloom Ballet Slipper Pink Ranunculus

Ranunculus means 'frog' and 'little' but there is nothing frog like about these gorgeous pink blooms. An alternative to peonies, this bouquet would look gorgeous styled in a low wide vase for Mother's Day.

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Bloom & Wild The Dylan

If your mum is partial to a daffodil for Mother's Day and to mark the arrival of Spring, Bloom & Wild have delivered with this pretty mix of daffs accompanied by narcissi and greenbell.

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Bloom & Wild The Hydrangeas and vase

Step up your flower giving game with these delicate hydrangeas that come with the vase. Simple and classic the recipient will be able to re-use the vase again and again. Best think about adding a flower subscription to keep it full...

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Appleyard Sorbet Rose & Lily

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M&S, Luxury Tulips, £358 of 13

M&S, Luxury Tulip Posy

This 20-stem bouquet features a mix of cerise and orange double tulips, known for their multiple petals which bloom into a rose-like shape. The bouquet will arrive in bud stage and sealed in our water-free delivery solution.

Waitrose No.1 Azalea Pyramid9 of 13

Waitrose No.1 Azalea Pyramid

Looking for something a little bit different to your traditional bouquet for Mother's Day? You'll be sure to surprise with this eye-catching, pyramid-shaped azalea, presented in an attractive ceramic pot.

Interflora Mother's Day hand-tied made with the finest flowers10 of 13

Interflora Mother's Day Hand-Tied With Finest Flowers

A beautiful mix of fresh flowers expertly hand-tied by a local florist, each and every design is one-of-a-kind that arrives perfectly pre-arranged and vase ready.

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Moonpig Cath Kidston The Dreamer

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Biscuiteers Mother's Day Floral Bouquet Biscuit Tin

If your mum has a sweet tooth and isn't that into flowers, then here's fun alternative. A lemon flavoured biscuit bouquet of flowers you can display in an arrangement but that she can munch through as she so pleases! Presented in Biscuiteers' famous square-edged keepsake tin, once the biscuits are gone, the lovingly hand-illustrated tin will make an enchanting keepsake for years to come.

Clare Florist Fantastic Summer Memories Fresh Flower Bouquet13 of 13

Clare Florist Fantastic Summer Memories Fresh Flower Bouquet

Don't turn your nose up at Amazon for flowers. If you're in a bit of a pickle there are a whole range of florists who can whip you up a bouquet and deliver it in time for Mother's Day.

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