Christmas shoppers in Cardiff join huge queue for Primark on first Saturday after firebreak lockdown lifts

THOUSANDS of shopper descended on Cardiff city centre as a massive queue formed outside Primark after Wales eased its firebreak lockdown.

Eager bargain hunters waited for hours outside the fashion giant as shoppers hit the high street for some retail therapy ahead of Christmas.

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The queue for Primark snaked down Cardiff's Queen Street and reportedly stretched as far as 1,000 feet from the front door.

One shopper said: "It is so busy today. I was speaking to two women who said they were teachers so Saturday and Sunday is the only time they can go out shopping.

"They couldn't understand why it was so crazy."

Another said: "It's absolute chaos in Cardiff today. Anyone would swear coronavirus is having a firebreak.

"Guaranteed we'll be locked back up before Christmas because Susan 'needs' bed socks from Primark."

Elsewhere in the city there were crowds of people as far as they eye could see as shoppers braved the bitter November weather.

Hoards of shoppers could also be found at Cardiff's recently opened Christmas Market at the Welsh capital's iconic castle.

A shopper said: "I can't believe it really. I've not seen it this busy unless the rugby is in town.

"Most seem to be sticking to the one-way system and social distancing at least which is a plus."

Another added: "It's kind of refreshing to see the city centre buzzing after so many months where it's just been soulless."



Wales ended its 17-day coronavirus lockdown on Monday while England still has nearly three weeks left of its four-week national shutdown.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "I am confident we will see the impact of what we have done over the last 17 days in the weeks that now follow."

Shops, pubs and other businesses reopened again on Monday following the total shutdown.

New guidelines have eased restrictions on non-essential businesses.

That means trips to pubs, cafes and restaurants are back on – as long as people follow social distancing and hygiene rules.

People are also allowed to meet indoors with four different households – as pictures showed revellers out enjoying themselves post- lockdown.

England imposed a nationwide lockdown that began on November 5 and will continue until December 2.

All four nations of the UK currently have different coronavirus rules, although it is hoped the same approach will be used everywhere over Christmas.

 

Boris Johnson is said to have heeded to scientists' calls after he was warned there could be several thousand deaths a day if action was not taken to curtail the rise of coronavirus cases.

Under the second lockdown, all non-essential businesses are closed including bars, pubs and clubs.

It came as the UK became the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 coronavirus deaths as another 595 people died – one of the highest totals in six months.

Boris Johnson said "we mourn everybody who's gone" as Britain hit the grim milestone.

England currently expected to end its lockdown as planned on December 2, but government scientists have warned the next two weeks are "crucial".

Covid cases are thought to be flattening out across England with the R rate now estimated to be 0.9.


Professor Susan Michie told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "For the next two weeks, everybody has to really get all their resolve together."

She added that it was likely to be "very challenging", saying it was "partly because of the weather (and) partly because, I think, the promise of a vaccine may be making people feel complacent.

"But the vaccine is very unlikely to come in until the end of the year or beginning of next year and that's going to make no difference to the current second wave."

She added that lockdowns in Wales and Northern Ireland had brought transmission rates down.

Sage members now hope the cases will start falling in the next week after 27,301 new infections were recorded yesterday.

This would then pave the way for the national lockdown to be lifted on December 2 as planned, with regions then going into Tiers according to their infection levels.

And while some areas may need to remain in the highest tier, others will be able to go back to Tier 2 restrictions, meaning that pubs, restaurants and gyms will be able to reopen.

Meanwhile, angry anti-lockdown protesters including Jeremy Corbyn's brother Piers gathered in Bristol as they clashed with police.

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