Crowds have gathered on the streets of London on the first weekend since the end of England's four-week lockdown on Wednesday. Some shoppers could be seen wearing face masks, as others chose to go without.
The British capital is now classified as Tier 2, or "high alert" in new coronavirus restrictions. Under the new tier, non-essential shops are allowed to reopen. It is hoped the move will improve a dismal year for the retail sector, with bumper sales in the run-up to Christmas.
Mixing of households outside support bubbles remains banned under the guidelines, although individuals can meet in groups of six outside.
It is hoped that the opening of non-essential stores will give the retail sector a boost. On Saturday, December 5, London's Oxford Street and Regent Street were both packed with Christmas shoppers.
It has been a challenging year for retail. Last week, Debenhams launched a 70 per cent sale to shift remaining stock after announcing on Tuesday that all of its 124 UK stores are to close.
The collapse of Debenhams put the jobs of 12,000 employees at risk, a day after Philip Green's Arcadia fashion group entered administration, threatening about 13,000 jobs.