The Scottish Retail Consortium has welcomed confirmation from the Scottish Government that homeware shops and garden centres can reopen from Monday, April 5.

The list of essential retailers will be expanded to include homeware stores as well as garden centres, meaning both can resume trading, in a move which the SRC said followed its representations.

Ministers said the curtailment of click & collect services undertaken by non-essential retailers will end on April 5, with collections by appointment.

However, curbs on food-to-go walk-in takeaway will stay for a further three weeks.

Garden centres and homeware stores were removed from the essential retailer list from Boxing Day.

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Hairdressers and barbers can also reopen for pre-booked appointments on Monday.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Homeware stores and garden centres have been eagerly awaiting a firm date for re-opening, some 95 days after they were compelled to close, and this announcement provides that clarity.

"It is welcome that government has listened to our representations and expanded the list of essential retailers and is starting to unwind some of the elevated lockdown restrictions. Its good news for shoppers and the economy, providing a much needed cashflow and confidence fillip for the retailers concerned and their suppliers.

“The First Minister’s call for shoppers to be considerate and respectful of shop staff is helpful. Whilst retailers are working hard to maintain a safe shopping experience, shoppers themselves can play their part by adhering to the rules on face-coverings, social distancing, queuing, and hand-sanitising.”

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses will be relieved on the confirmation that hairdressers, click and collect services and garden centres, will be able to reopen from April 5. As the vaccine rollout continues to give us all optimism, more businesses in our crucial retail and hospitality sectors still await word on whether or not they will be able to reopen at the end of April.

“Missing the Easter period, which is usually a boom period for retail and hospitality, means that the delay to reopening risks widespread business collapse. Government must also consider a further package of business support to help these businesses survive over the next few crucial weeks.

“Businesses are on tenterhooks as we await further detail from the Scottish Government on what the revised level criteria will look like. This detail is critical and needs to provide businesses and consumers the confidence and hope that they can expect to see their hard work on suppressing Covid-19 rewarded."

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