SHOPPERS returned to the streets of Brighton and Hove today as their favourite stores were allowed to reopen under Tier 2 restrictions.

The national lockdown ended at midnight allowing non-essential retailers, pubs, gyms and more to reopen after four weeks of enforced closure.

The sites must operate under strict conditions, such as shops having to provide "Covid-secure" conditions and hospitality sites only being able to serve alcohol with a "substantial meal", but it appears the people of Brighton and Hove are glad to see these businesses back.

The Argus:

This morning, a steady stream of shoppers milled around some of the city's main shopping areas, including Western Road, North Street and Churchill Square shopping centre.

The vast majority of stores had reopened in all of these areas, with the exception of the Argos store in Western Road which has been shut since the first national lockdown in March.

The streets were not excessively busy, but a good number of shoppers bustled between popular stores.

The Argus:

When The Argus passed by, small queues had formed outside the likes of Primark and H&M in Western Road, and Christmas gift specialists Flying Tiger in Churchill Square.

Debenhams also welcomed plenty of punters through its doors after bosses announced yesterday that all 124 of the chain's UK stores would be closing when they had sold out of their current stock.

The revelation came after JD Sports pulled out of a rescue bid for the retailer.

The multi-storey site in Churchill Square has been dubbed a "British institution", with many Argus readers sad to hear it will be shut.

John Wells said: "I have many memories of going to the Eastbourne store throughout my childhood, especially the restaurant (which used to be on a different floor).

"I also remember the old Brighton store opposite Waitrose had a lift-operator.

"Sad to lose another British institution. RIP Debenhams."

Mark Buchanan-Smith, centre director at Churchill Square, said: “We are disappointed to hear Debenhams’ recent announcement that they may close and we continue to monitor the situation as the business goes through the liquidation process.

"In the meantime, we would like to express our gratitude to the hardworking and dedicated team at Debenhams for providing customers with exemplary service for many years.”