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Queues form outside shops as Scotland lifts lockdown restrictions

Nicola Sturgeon warns customers not to 'squander' progress on beating coronavirus pandemic

Rory Sullivan
Monday 29 June 2020 11:51 BST
Nicola Sturgeon urges public to shop responsibly

Customers queued outside shops in Scotland as non-essential retailers opened their doors for the first time in three months as part of its latest easing of the country's lockdown.

Shops with on-street entrances were allowed to return to business from Monday, while indoor retailers in shopping centres will have to wait until 13 July to open.

Images show hundreds of people outside Primark stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh, with the police watching the socially distanced crowds.

Nicola Sturgeon urged caution and warned shoppers not to "squander" progress in beating Covid-19.

In a message posted on Twitter on Monday morning, the first minister wrote: "If you plan on visiting shops today, please do so responsibly. Maintain physical distancing, follow hygiene advice, wear a face covering and respect staff who may be asking you to shop differently.

"We’ve made so much progress against the virus - let’s not squander it."

The Scottish government, along with the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) trade body and the trade union Usdaw, has asked people to abide by five steps of "considerate shopping".

The steps included queueing considerately, maintaining social distancing, and following instructions inside and outside stores.

Scottish business minister Jamie Hepburn also called on shoppers to behave sensibly, saying that police and health and safety officers could be used if needed to enforce the rules.

Mr Hepburn told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "People should act responsibly and respectfully to other customers and to the staff so that minimises the need for enforcement measures."

He added that customers should only shop locally and should wear face coverings where possible.

Stewart Forrest, divisional officer at the Usdaw union, called on people to be considerate to shop workers, who suffered a reported increase in abuse in the early stages of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Forrest added: "Customers need to play their part and be patient, observe social distancing and show respect to shop workers, whilst ensuring high streets and town centres remain vibrant and a great shopping experience for everyone."

Outdoor markets, playgrounds and sports facilities will also be allowed to reopen on 29 June.

Additional reporting from PA

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