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8.25am BST

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, says it was a “big day” for reopening businesses, and that many were “excited and desperate” to welcome customers back.

She told Sky News:

“It’s a big day for the country and it’s a big day for all of these businesses reopening their doors today.

They are very excited and desperate to welcome their customers back (with) the focus on safety.”

“Members of the public have a part to play in following the signage, the guidance that we get given queueing if we need to… and all of the safety features that are in place.

We have a role too.”

8.18am BST

Hairdressers and beauty salons in England can also open up again today – a relief to millions in need of a trim, recolouring or other treatments.

“I know that our therapists are just so happy to be working with clients again.

“Everyone has really missed the social contact of the day-to-day job and making clients happy. We haven’t been able to do that for the best part of five-to-six months.”

“We realised we had quite a few regular clients who we weren’t able to book in on the first day back, so we thought ‘why don’t we open the first moment we can?’

“And then we’re filling a lot of people in at dawn – a lot of 6am haircuts. Which is amazing, because people are going to have their hair cut and blowdried and then they can get on a Zoom call.

“(The haircut) feels amazing, I can’t stop touching it.

“(It’s been) about seven or eight months, since my last one, so I had some very split ends. I’m very impatient, so I didn’t want to wait. (I booked it) as soon as they could fit me in.”

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This content first appear on the guardian

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