United Kingdom

Covid UK: Fears Primark queues will prompt third nationwide lockdown

Primark shoppers flocking to stores for 24-hour opening times will prompt a second Covid-19 lockdown in Britain, people have argued - even though the eye-catching queues were caused by social distancing measures inside stores.

Online commenters fretted that massive queues could bring on another coronavirus lockdown, as people are spending long periods of time in the clothing shops.

The bargain chain extended its opening hours after England's national lockdown ended on Wednesday, December 2.

One critic, Kim Leppington, wrote in response to pictures of hundreds of people crowding outside of the Fort Shopping Park in Birmingham this week. 

According to Birmingham Live she said: 'Here comes another lockdown. Why can't everyone just stick together. People are dying to see their loved ones people are struggling losing their jobs and so on.'  

Communities minister Robert Jenrick announced the 24-hour rules earlier this week in an effort to spread out shopping times and lessen crowds.

Primark opened 11 stores around the clock (Including Birmngham's Fort Shopping Park outlet, abnove) throughout the night, with shoppers queuing to grab a bargain from the low-cost chain - which had to close during England's lockdown

Above, shoppers queue outside Primark's store in Lakeside, West Thurrock. Some said they queued for up to two hours

The long queues are said to have started at 5am on Wednesday morning as shoppers looked to pick up a bargain on Wild Wednesday

The plan didn't appear to work, however, and hundreds of people still rushed to the popular high street retailer, which famously doesn't have an online store.

Primark fans were kept away for a month during England's lockdown and were keep to catch up on lost time, with winding queues outside stores in Trafford, Birmingham and Leeds.

Waiting times creeped as far as two hours and people queued past midnight to get in to buy clothes.  

Maria Garrido, who travelled to the Trafford Centre Primark from Wigan to get some new pyjamas, described the scenes as 'organised chaos,' telling the Manchester Evening News she queued for more than two hours after arriving at 10.20pm.        

A total 11 Primark stores opening from 7am on Wednesday 2 December through until normal closing time on Thursday 3 December.

They included: Trafford, York Monks Cross, Leeds White Rose, Bluewater, Lakeside, Birmingham Fort, Meadowhall, Stratford, White City, Charlton, and the Gateshead Metrocentre.

The 11 Primark stores which were opened for 24 hours after England's national lockdown ended

Trafford - Manchester

York Monks Cross - York

Leeds White Rose - Leeds

Bluewater - Kent

Lakeside - Essex

Birmingham Fort - Birmingham 

Meadowhall - Sheffield

Stratford - Westfields, London

White City - Westfields, London

Charlton - London

Gateshead Metrocentre - Newcastle

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