Renfrewshire was back with a bang yesterday as home stores, garden centres and hairdressers all threw their doors open again.
An astonishing 600-yard long queue developed before lunchtime at IKEA in Braehead.
It snaked up and down the car park but everyone was social distancing.
Desperate Easter Monday shoppers waited 90 minutes just to get inside.
But for one Bishopton couple Eric and Louise McKinlay it was worth it.
Louise revealed: “Top of the list was office desks as we have to work from home.
“But it was some way to spend Easter Monday.
“We did have priority access as Eric has ankylosing spondylitis.
“But it is madness – if we had not just moved house we would not be there.
“It was essential for us.”
Gemma Bryson, from Paisley’s south side, hit the store early and managed to get in within 60 minutes.
She said: “I have been desperate to get bedroom furniture – I had been trying to get it online, but the system kept crashing.
“Once inside IKEA it was actually much better than normal as they were counting people in and out.”
Isa Watson, from Renfrew, had been waiting 30 minutes in the queue, but admitted: “I’m not really here for anything in particular, I just want to see what they have got.”
The easing of the toughest virus restrictions yet sparked activity across the county.
The Caulders Garden Centre in Erskine and Dobbies at Braehead both reported brisk business as shoppers snapped up bedding plants.
For Paisley barber Alan Dunn,56, it was the first time since Christmas Eve he had picked up his scissors.
Alan, who has run his Neilston Road business since 1988, revealed his first available appointment is now April 23.
He said: “It is a relief to be open, despite all the preparation needed before and after each customer.
“But I am playing it by the book, there are no walk-ins allowed.
“It does frustrate me that some other barbers are breaking the rules. They don’t seem to care.”
Lines of people up to six strong built up outside some gents’ barbers, while Scottish Government rules from yesterday mean all customers have to have appointments.
Among the first in Alan’s chair for a £10 cut was Renfrewshire Leisure museum staffer Bryan Smith.
Bryan said: “My wife has been clipping me so I am in to see the expert to sort me properly.
“Alan is a great hairdresser, a big St Mirren man and someone who does so much for the town.
“That is why I want to support him.”
Across town at the KAOSS hair and beauty salon in Gauze Street, Ronnie Girvan, manager of Paisley’s Nationwide Building Society was first inside.
He’d cycled in for some much-needed attention from salon owner Alison McMenemy.
Ronnie said: “Alison is friends with my wife and I have been coming here for many
“My wife suggested I might need my hair done, which is a none-too-veiled commentary that I really need my hair cut.
“This is a great start to getting Renfrewshire fully back for business.”
Owner Alison has been in the hairdressing game for 38 years and used to work alongside her late husband Jim.
Alison said: “It is great to be open, but we can only take two people in at a time, when normally it is eight.
“It is quite a loss in income for me and Stephanie and Debbie who work here.
“We used to be able to cut someone else’s hair while waiting on colour, but we cannot do that now.
“I am so lucky I have such a good, loyal clientele and we are now booked to the start of May.
“Easter feels as if Christmas has come again.”
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