A RETAIL leader has hailed the reopening of more essential shops from this week.

From tomorrow, Monday April 5, homeware shops and garden centres in Scotland will be permitted to reopen, the Scottish Retail Consortium, said.

The list of essential retailers is being expanded meaning both can resume trading, and this comes after repeated representations to the Scottish Government by the SRC, it said.

The curtailment of click & collect services undertaken by non-essential retailers will also end on 5 April, albeit customer collections must be by appointment.

However, curbs on walk-in food takeaway will not be rescinded for a further three weeks, although the restrictions were introduced at the same time as those on click and collect in mid-January.

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Garden centres and homeware stores were removed from the essential retailer list in late December and had to close when the current lockdown came into effect on Boxing Day.

The SRC said curbs on food-to-go takeaway – affecting coffee shops, bakeries, and quick service restaurants amongst others - and click & collect came into effect on January 16.

David Lonsdale, SRC director, said the move comes "100 days of being shuttered".

He said: "The decision to expand the list of essential retailers and to start to unwind some of the elevated lockdown restrictions are positive steps."

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He added: "It's good news for shoppers and for the economy, providing a much needed cashflow and confidence fillip for the retailers concerned and their suppliers.

“Retailers are working hard to prepare for reopening and to maintain a safe shopping experience, and shoppers themselves can play their part by adhering to the rules on face-coverings, social distancing, and queuing, and by being respectful of shop staff.”