Charity shops are deemed as non-essential businesses and therefore all physical stores were forced to close their doors to customers at the beginning of the year. Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week unveiled his roadmap out of lockdown, which will see all non-essential shops reopen in a few weeks. But when exactly will charity shops be able to reopen?
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, February 22, Mr Johnson announced his coronavirus lockdown easing roadmap.
Mr Johnson said: “Today the end really is in sight, and a wretched year will give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better than the picture we see around us today.”
The four-stage plan for lockdown easing in England will begin on March 8 with the reopening of schools, and two people being able to meet for a drink, coffee or picnic outdoors.
The plan ends with the lifting of all restrictions including social distancing and legal limits on weddings, funerals and more being removed from June 21.
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The Prime Minister today said he is “very optimistic” he will be able to remove all restrictions in England by June 21.
Mr Johnson said: “I’m hopeful but obviously nothing can be guaranteed and it all depends on the way we continue to be prudent and continue to follow the guidance in each stage.
“That’s why it’s so important to proceed in the cautious way that we are.
“I think people do understand it, they can see the logic of what we’re trying to do.
“But, genuinely, because of the immense possibilities now of the vaccination rollout, because science has given us this way of creating a whole shield around our population, we can really look at that June 21 date with some optimism.
“I’m very optimistic we’ll be able to get there.”
Speaking from the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said: “In step two non-essential retail will reopen, as will personal care including hairdressers I’m glad to say, and nail salons.
“Indoor leisure facilities such as gyms will reopen, as will holiday-lets, but only for use by individuals or household groups.
“We will begin to re-open our pubs and restaurants outdoors and Hon Members will be relieved there will be no curfew and the Scotch Egg debate will be over because there will be no requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal.
“Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will re-open as will public libraries and community centres.”
At this second stage of lockdown easing from April 12, the following easing is due to take effect:
- Restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol
- Gyms and spas can reopen for individuals and households
- Hairdressers, beauty salons and other “close contact services” can reopen
- UK domestic holidays away from home permitted, with self-contained accommodation able to reopen for use by members of the same household
- Children allowed to attend indoor play activities, with up to 15 parents or guardians allowed to join them
- Zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen
- Libraries and community centres can reopen
- Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place.
In the interim, charity shops can often be accessed online.
Most charity shops will not allow you to make donations to them in-store but may be open to donations through the post.
Once charity shops reopen, donating items will likely be different to how it was before the pandemic.
The Charity Retail Association (CRA) said donations should not be left outside of shop doors or in doorways.
Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Once it is safe for us to reopen and start our collection services again, we will be hugely grateful to receive any clothes, homewares or furniture, all of which will help us continue our vital work to fund heart research.”