PLENTY of retailers have had to shut during lockdowns across the UK to help limit the spread of coronavirus.
But how have the Covid-19 restrictions affected charity shops and can I still donate to Mind, Oxfam and British Red Cross? We explain all you need to know.
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At the beginning of the year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national shutdown across the whole of England.
As a result, all non-essential shops and businesses must remain closed until lockdown restrictions ease.
On the roadmap set out by the government last month, that won't be until April 12.
Although non-essential retailers can't to keep their physical stores open, they are still allowed to sell online and offer click and collect.
But some stores that the government deems "essential" are allowed to stay open for browsing, including supermarkets, DIY shops and garden centres.
Are charity shops open?
Charity shops are classified as non-essential, so all physical stores have had to close to customers.
This includes retailers such as Barnardo's, Oxfam, Mind, Marie Curie, British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and Sue Ryder.
However, Boris Johnson revealed his roadmap out of lockdown in February, which will see non-essential shops reopen from April 12.
As charity shops are classed as non-essential retail, it is understood they will reopen at this point as well.
Schools were first prioritised in the reopening of the nation, and kids returned to the classroom from March 8.
We will see the next easing of restrictions on March 29, where six people or two households will be able to meet outside.
The first lockdown saw all charity shops closed for a few months from March last year.
Barnardo’s was then one of the first charity shops to announce plans to reopen 70 of its 700 UK shops in England from June 15.
Until charity shops can reopen, customers are still able to shop online from the Mind and British Red Cross eBay stores and Oxfam has an online shop on its website.
Meanwhile, Sue Ryder has an online shop where you can order new goods as well as an ebay store too, dedicated to preloved items.
The delivery fees on eBay vary between items, while Oxfam charges £3.95 for standard home delivery.
Can I still make donations to charity shops?
While charity shops such as Mind, Oxfam and British Red Cross remain closed, you won't be able to make donations to them in-store.
However, some will allow you to make donations through the post.
For example, the British Heart Foundation lets you send smaller items such as branded clothing, jewellery and children's toys for free.
Simply download a label on its website and head to your nearest Collect+ drop-off point with your package, as part of your essential shopping trip.
Once charity shops reopen, donating items will likely be different to how it was before the pandemic.
The Charity Retail Association (CRA) says donations should not be left outside of shop doors or in doorways.
Donors may be directed to “donation’” points, such as empty shops or warehouses, instead.
This means that, like clothing returns, all donations can be quarantined for a minimum for 72 hours to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Some charity shops may accept donations for online sales, so make sure you check their websites.
If you'd like to donate money, most charities will let you do this on their websites too.
The Prime Minister also announced that Hairdressers will open from April 12 along with gyms.
Working from home measures will remain in place until at least June
A full list of businesses that must stay closed until April 12 was released earlier in the year- with cinemas and bingo halls to stay closed until May 17
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