THE Government last week allowed further stores to reopen as part of the gradual easing of some coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Retailers offering homeware and businesses that offered some dental services were told they could reopen as long as they adhered to social distancing rules.

This week, Darlington Matalan opened its doors to customers on Neasham Road as it said stores supplying 'homeware' had been listed as an 'exception' to the rules.

But a number of other businesses have now been able to reopen their doors following several weeks of closure.

The full list of businesses now allowed to open (as of Government guidance published on May 13):

- Food retailers, including supermarkets 

- Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services (including physiotherapy and podiatry services), and services relating to mental health 

- Pharmacies and chemists, including non-dispensing pharmacies 

- Petrol stations 

- Bicycle shops 

- Homeware, building supplies and hardware stores, including where those stores supply equipment for hire 

- Garden centres and plant nurseries 

- Veterinary surgeries and pet shops 

- Agricultural supplies shops 

- Convenience stores, corner shops and newsagents 

- Off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries 

- Laundrettes and dry cleaners 

- Post offices 

- Taxi or vehicle hire businesses 

- Car repair and MOT services 

- Car parks 

- Banks, building societies, short-term loan providers, credit unions, savings clubs, cash points, currency exchange offices, businesses for the transmission of money, and businesses which cash cheques. 

- Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points where they are on the premises of any of the above businesses 

- Public toilets 

- Shopping centres may stay open but only units of the types listed above may trade

Businesses that cannot reopen just yet are listed below*:

- Restaurants and public houses, wine bars or other food and drink establishments including within hotels and members’ clubs, such as dining rooms

- Cafés and canteens

- Hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours

- Car showrooms 

- Outdoor markets

- Auction houses

- Holiday accommodation including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding houses

Some exceptions apply to those that cannot reopen - the full rules and exceptions can be seen at