The time has finally come for nonessential shops to reopen – an this is how Nottingham looked on the first day.
People were buzzing up and down the city centre June 15 after three months of shops being in standby.
Hundreds have descended to Primark, Zara, Sports direct and other retailers to finally restock on clothes for the ‘new season’.
The city that seemed to be a ghost town just a couple of days ago, was today filled with people of all ages either queuing at stores, or resting in the Old Market Square after a draining shopping session.
Whilst special measures have been put in place to make people respect social distancing rules, some people are worried this decision “came too soon”.
Emily, 19, and Gary Price, 66, are both worried this could lead to a ‘second wave’.
Gary, who is retired, said: “We are not doing enough to stop it.
“The city is so busy – it look like nothing has happened.”
Emily, who just finished college and is preparing to go to the university next year, said the city “is not safe”.
She added: “Even if they try to keep distancing, we are not ready to go shopping yet.”
However, these worries did not stop people from descending to the Old Market Square, even it was just for a walk, an ice-cream, or enjoying the sunny weather like ‘in the normal days’.
Finance and Investment MA student Yifei Zhuang, 23, said she finds the city “busy” and “dangerous”.
She said: “I’m worried about the air being contaminated because it’s so busy”.
Originally from China, Yifei is a student at University of Nottingham who expressed worries about going back home.
She added: “Whatever happens, I’m willing to come back for my graduation ceremony in December, but the policy system is very strict”.
Fashion enthusiasts could not resist new collections and offers for the new season, with the shopping centre looking more like it was Black Friday than a gradual lockdown exit.
Intervention Facilitator Roisin Reid, 23, said: “I’ve been shopping online during lockdown, but I’m excited that shops have opened – and it’s good for the economy.
“I’m personally not bothered by the virus, but I’m concerned about the vulnerable being exposed.”
She and Sasha Gill, 21, both think the reopening of the shops was necessary for the economy.
Sasha added: “I’m curious to see if there is going to be a second wave.
“I think it’s down to common sense – if you feel sick or you’re vulnerable, don’t go.”
On the other side of the till, retail workers have seen a huge influx on customers on the first day when shops reopened.
Braderie manager Chantal Kennedy, 35, said: “We’ve been really busy today.
“I thought people would take it gradually, but the lockdown has started in March, and now there is a new season – and people need new clothes.”
“We had a very positive feedback from our customers today, so hopefully things will get back to normal soon.”
Words and photos by Olimpia Zagnat