Hundreds of people queued along Castle Street in the city centre today to access the first day back in business for Primark.

But it wasn't exactly business as usual.

Masked assistants stood at the doors to admit queueing customers as others left the popular city centre store.

There were also signs outside the store enforcing two-metre social distancing and sanitiser stations were made available for those entering and leaving the premises. Payment by card is not obligatory but is being encouraged, says Primark, while in-store cleaning has been stepped up. 

The company had avoided a reopening sale in order to avoid a stampede from customers who have been unable to shop in any department store since mid-March.

"While it might take a little longer to get into store, once inside, customers will find all their favourite Primark products and plenty of choice as usual," said company CEO Paul Marchant. "We have worked hard to ensure that clear signage and extra help will be there to guide them through the changes we have made to allow for social distancing."

Video and photo by Jim Corr, Belfast Media Group.