Shoppers flocked back to a number of high street retailers in Kingston on Monday (June 15) following a further easing of restrictions introduced to slow the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

Large queues in front of a number of high street retailers in central Kingston were seen and posted online, echoing similar scenes in London and towns across the UK.

Kingston Council (RBK) previously warned of differences in the way Kingstonians go about their shopping prior to Monday's reopening, and the physical distancing measures many residents have grown used to in queues outside foodstores at the height of the pandemic were visible outside non-essential stores Monday.

RBK's Council Leader Caroline Kerr described this approach prior to the reopening:

"We will all need to work together to share the space and keep each other safe.

“We know that many businesses would like to reopen and we want to help by making the shopping areas feel safe and welcoming.

"We’re working with businesses to put in place measures to protect everyone who comes into town and enable social distancing."

RBK said it had worked directly with business leaders from organizations like Kingston Chamber of Commerce and business development group Kingston First on the measures.

CEO Kirsten Henly said the organization had "invested in an additional deep cleansing of the town’s streets, dressing and greenery to brighten up the streetscape and vibrant social distancing signage, floor stickers, posters and queuing markers which will appear across the town to help visitors and workers navigate the town safety."

Not all high street shops in Kingston did open on Monday however. 

Popular record store Banquet Records on Eden Street pointed out the the difficulties in enforcing physical distancing for browsers in-store, and said they had arranged an alternative way for shoppers to pick up purchases: 

"Not being able to browse, to social distance effectively, or manage queues on Eden St, we're offering a Car Park Collection service to the rear of Banquet instead," a spokesperson for the store posted to Twitter.