Non-essential stores will begin to reopen from June 1 - but shopping will not be the same for customers.
In order to open, shops will need to pass a risk assessment and the Government has published a list of rules and guidelines that must be followed to keep everyone safe.
One of the most widely-discussed bans has been that on changing rooms. Shoppers will no longer be able to try on clothes in stores before buying them over fears of contamination.
Anyone wanting to try on shoes will need to wear disposable socks to do so.
Speaking on BBC ’s Radio 4 Today programme, Bill Keevil, professor of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton, warned that it's not yet known whether coronavirus can be transmitted on fabric.
He said: "The issue is now coming down to things like clothes, fabrics. Should people touch them?
"If people have washed their hands properly, you might argue that there shouldn’t be a transmission risk onto the fabrics.
"But people are now suggesting if you try on a garment and you don’t want it, that garment should be put into quarantine for several days before it’s then being put back onto the shelves."
Shoe giant Kurt Geiger has said that it will put footwear aside for 24 hours after a customer has tried anything on, while Waterstones says it will quarantine books for 72 hours after people have touched them, reports the Manchester Evening News.
intu, owner of Eldon Square in Newcastle and Metrocentre in Gateshead, has also outlined its plans to keep staff and customers safe. They include:
According to the official Government website, shops and shoppers must follow the following guidelines:
- Look at how people walk through the shop and how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact between customers, for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.
- Ensure any changes to entries, exit and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled shoppers.
- Work within your local area to provide additional parking or facilities such as bike racks, where possible, to help customers avoid using public transport.
- Use outside premises for queuing where available and safe, for example some car parks.
- Manage outside queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers.
- Shopping centres should take responsibility for regulating the number of customers in the centre and the queuing process in communal areas on behalf of their retail.
- Clearly designate positions from which colleagues can provide advice or assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance
- Work with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to spread the number of people arriving throughout the day for example by staggering opening hours; this will help reduce demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.
- Continue to keep customer restaurants and cafes closed until further notice, apart from when offering hot or cold food to be consumed off the premises.