As the lockdown restrictions slowly begin to ease across the country in an individual state-by-state approach, retail stores are now looking at reopening with stringent social distancing rules in place. So yes, this means you’re going to be able to go and scratch the itch that online shopping doesn’t quite satisfy, but only if you stick to the essential hygiene requirements.

With New South Wales looking to relax laws from Friday, May 1 to allow up to two visitors in homes at any one time, and Western Australia allowing up to 10 people to gather both outside and inside we’re now seeing shops around the country being urged to reopen to the public.

As per 9News, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has encouraged retail stores in NSW to look at reopening their doors while implementing strict social distancing and hygiene practices. This includes cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and making sure customers keep a healthy distance away from each other while in the store.

She also urged NSW residents to come forward for testing to continue to control the spread of COVID-19.

Some stores under the Brand Collective umbrella (like Mossimo, Superdry, and Shoe Warehouse) will be pushing out the existing social distancing rule to one person per 10m to help shoppers and staff maintain distance. What that’ll look like instore is uncertain, but surely it’ll involve a line-up system outside stores and a strict capacity limit.

In Melbourne, Emporium reopened a select amount of its stores this week, including Chanel, Polo Ralph Lauren, MUJI and both the Emporium Medical Centre and Pharmacy. The CBD shopping complex is running on reduced opening hours of 11am to 4pm, and have apparently implemented new guidelines for anyone wanting to visit stores.

A select range of Emporium’s restaurants and kitchens are also now open and available for pickup and takeaway too, including Din Tai Fung, Tetsujin, and New Shanghai.

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We’ve got news…Tomorrow we’re reopening our doors and we will be here for you from 11am to 4pm every day. We’re welcoming back the teams from MUJI, Emporium Pharmacy, Maison Tsumiki, Brooks Brothers, Polo Ralph Lauren, Chanel and Emporium Medical Centre who will be all be in store to help you. Of course, your safety is our top priority and we’ve introduced new measures to help you maintain the recommended distance from each other while you’re visiting us. Our team will continue working with our retailer partners to ensure Emporium Melbourne is safe for everyone visiting or working with us. Our restaurants Calia, Din Tai Fung, Tetsujin, New Shanghai and Es Teler 77 continue to dish up your favourites via UberEATS, Deliveroo and Easi with night-time delivery available seven days a week. From Monday you’ll also be able to order and pick up in centre. In these evolving times we expect more brands to open soon so please stay tuned. Again, we thank you for your continued support and loyalty.

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Nationally, the group that owns footwear chains like Platypus, Hype DC, Vans, and Athlete’s Foot has announced it’ll be opening stores again from Monday, May 11, alongside a potential reopening of Myer department stores.

Myer recently reopened click and collect options at all 22 of its department stores, functioning as a pop-up space from April 26, with shortened opening hours for click and collect customers only.

Image: AAP Images / Stefan Postles