// From today, non-essential shops in Scotland are allowed to reopen after being in lockdown since Boxing Day
// Retailers look to claw back £4.1bn in lost sales since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic
// Gyms, swimming pools, outdoor hospitality, libraries and beauty salons are also allowed to reopen
Shoppers in Scotland have been reminded to continue social distancing and wear face coverings as retailers look to claw back £4.1 billion in lost sales since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
From today, non-essential shops are allowed to open their doors to the public again after being in lockdown since Boxing Day, with millions spent on safety-proofing them against Covid transmission.
The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) urged shoppers to queue considerately and be mindful over social distancing and mask-wearing after “four long months of closure” for shops.
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It expects an “initial surge” as customers venture out but said the “real test will be how this holds up”.
“Retailers have spent millions of pounds to make shops Covid-secure for customers and colleagues,” SRC director David Lonsdale said.
“We encourage Scots to get out and visit their favourite shops over the coming weeks knowing every purchase they make and every item they buy is a local job supported and a high street helped.
“Unlocking consumer spending will be central to Scotland’s economic recovery and to bouncing back quickly.
“Many of us will be looking forward to returning to our favourite shop in the coming weeks and we all have a duty to keep each other safe.”
Meanwhile, the public were asked to think about staying local and supporting retailers in struggling town centre high streets.
Scotland’s Towns Partnership’s Phil Prentice said it was vital that economic recovery from the pandemic grew from the grassroots.
“By supporting your local businesses you will be helping the national recovery,” he said.
“The importance of today for those retail, hospitality and leisure businesses which have been unable to open since December cannot be underestimated.
“Their survival, however, depends on support. And the most critical support comes from their community. This is a chance to rediscover and celebrate all that’s on our doorstep.
“We hope that today can signal the start of a summer of success, both in terms of beating the pandemic and for businesses bouncing back.
“Thinking local first – and safety first – will give the greatest chances of realising those hopes.”
As well as retailers and other shops, gyms, swimming pools, outdoor hospitality, libraries, hairdressers and beauty salons are among the high street businesses which can once again serve customers from today.
with PA Wires