Hundreds of people queued to shop at newly-reopened DIY stores across the Midlands.

75 B&Q stores around the UK reopened, with shorter opening hours than usual trading, including the weekend. Social distancing measures were still in place, both outside and in-store.

Hardware stores were exempt from the businesses and venues ordered by the government to remain closed - B&Q took the decision to close.

Some parts of the stores were closed, such as paint-mixing and bathroom design, and customers could only pay by card or contactless.

Under the coronavirus lockdown rules, people can only go shopping for essential items like food and medicine.

"What is the difference between queuing for shopping and queuing for DIY? People have got to have things to do. This could very well go on until Christmas. ....Our DIY shop down the road has never been shut thankfully. I could not sit around all day everyday doing nothing, except house chores".

Tricia Davies

"Suzanne Parkes said: "I... have just decorated my front room. I want to do my bathroom next so I'm glad B&Q is open. It's no different shopping there to Tesco. There's social distancing in both places. Why are people getting on their high horses about this? People are shopping for what they need and going home, not walking the streets with their tins of paint."

Suzanne Parkes
The store in Stoke Credit: BPM Media

But not everyone was happy to see the stores reopen.

"By opening B&Q you are putting other people who have got to work to supply B&Q at risk. People are rushing there to buy fence paint, it's an absolute joke. All they see it pound signs."

Steven Chappell

The queues continued at other stores across the Midlands - these were the scenes outside one in Derby.

Now new advice from the National Police Chiefs Council states shoppers can "buy tools and supplies to repair a fence panel damaged in bad weather."

Having watched other essential retailers support social distancing in their stores, we are now following their best practice and are re-opening some stores with strict social distancing measures in place.

A B&Q spokesman

Watch: the queue for a newly-opened chip shop