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Business / More shops reopen for business as lockdown rules relax

Retailers welcome the chance to reopen after months of closure

Lerwick's Commercial Street. Photo: Shetland News

SOME shops have begun reopening around Shetland as lockdown rules relax.

Lerwick’s Commercial Street has been a bit busier today (Monday), with a number of shops reopening.

Non-essential shops with an outdoor entrance/exit have been allowed to reopen their doors from today with social distancing measures in place.

Hand sanitising is also forming a key part of hygiene measures in shops.

Businesses like hairdressers and pubs, though, still have to wait until mid-July before reopening.

Non-essential shops located in the Toll Clock shopping centre will also have to wait until 15 July before they can open again.

Ninian’s Joanna Hunter.

Andrew Gibson of the shopping centre said they were following government guidelines ensuring everybody stayed as safe as possible.

One shop which reopened its doors this morning was Harry’s Department Store.

Owner Stewart Jamieson said by 11am there had been “quite a few” people in.

This included children who had received gift vouchers as presents during lockdown.

“We have been doing online [during lockdown] and it’s been quite busy, but we are delighted to be back open,” Jamieson said.

The shop is using a one-way system, with people coming in via Commercial Street and leaving out onto the Esplanade.

Another shop in Lerwick reopening its doors to customers was Ninian.

The knitwear and gift retailer had also been selling goods online in recent weeks, but owner Joanna Hunter said it was a relief to get the shop back open.

“It’s been a long 14 weeks,” she said.

“It has given us the chance to do work behind the scenes and make it as simple for folk to shop as possible.”

Hunter said just before midday that “we have had so many folk pop their head in the door already”.

Westside Pine’s Janet Davidge after the shop reopened.

Not all shops are reopening today, though, with some choosing to Tuesday to relaunch.

Camera Centre owner Ben Mullay said the last few months have been the “most challenging period” since he took over the business in 2011.

The company has decided to phase the opening hours back in, with the shop initially closed on Mondays and Thursdays.

Living Lerwick manager Emma Miller previously welcomed the decision to allow some shops to reopen.

However, she said businesses such as beauticians and tattoo shops were still awaiting guidance.

“If all goes to plan and the pubs, cafes, restaurants and hairdressers can reopen from 15th then the street will certainly be a bit busier,” Miller added.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, said this morning that “if you plan on visiting shops today, please do so responsibly”.