Coronavirus in Scotland: Hundreds queue outside Ikea Glasgow as store re-opens following lockdown easing

Hundreds of customers were seen queuing outside the Ikea store in Glasgow as it reopened on Monday.

A huge queue formed at Ikea in Glasgow on Monday as the store reopened. Picture: Brendan McIlroy

Some had been waiting in line at the car park since 7am to get into the popular homeware and furniture store in Braehead.

The Swedish retail giant has been closed in Scotland since December last year when the ‘stay at home’ message was imposed.

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The stay at home order in Scotland was lifted on Friday and replaced with guidance to “stay local”, which urges people to remain within their local authority area.

Further easing took place on Monday, with homeware stores, garden centres and click and collect services allowed to reopen, along with barbers and hairdressers.

Footage of the huge queues at Ikea in Glasgow was shared on Twitter by Brendon McIlroy.

It was taken at 9.40am on Monday morning, 20 minutes before the doors were due to open.

Monday’s further easing of restrictions will be followed on April 26 with a wider reopening of the economy, with beer gardens and gyms returning to trading and more people being able to meet outdoors and inside public places.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously said she hopes the country will return to normality by the summer.

Monday’s opening has been welcomed by retail groups but hospitality businesses have been more sceptical.

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association said pubs will have missed out on selling eight million pints at Easter due to the fact they remain closed.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman ruled out easing restrictions more quickly than outlined in the current timetable of three weeks between changes.

Questioned on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme if this would be accelerated, she said: “No, I don’t think so.

“I don’t think the numbers suggest that and you’ve got to remember every time you ease in some way the current restrictions – so today – you give the virus more opportunity to not only to transmit but also to mutate.”

She said easing restrictions gives “the opportunity for more cases” so the three-week window is required.

Ms Freeman added: “What we’ve done and what opens up today I’m sure is very welcomed by very many people indeed but our progress needs to be tempered with a degree of caution and that’s exactly the approach we’re taking.”

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