Blackwell’s reopened yesterday in line with government guidelines, which permit non-essential retail stores to begin trading again.

New safety measures to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 are being used in the store to protect shoppers and booksellers. This includes physical distancing in the shop, one-way systems, and having a maximum capacity.

Books that have been touched while browsing are being quarantined and sanitized, and Perspex screens have been set up at the tills and enquiry points. Blackwell’s have also changed the layout of the shop to allow for browsing at a safe distance and hand sanitizer is available to all customers.

The Oxford bookshop, which celebrates its 141st year in 2020, has been closed since the lockdown began at the end of March.

Assistant manager Charlie Bush said: “While our shops have been closed, our excellent online bookshop has been sending thousands of books out to customers – regular and new – to keep them reading even thought they can’t visit us in person.

 “That service with free postage goes on but we are delighted that lots of booklovers have been in to browse and buy books today, our first day open again in bricks and mortar.

 “We look forward to welcoming many more for a safe shopping experience at Blackwell’s.”

Opening times for the Broad Street branch are Monday to Saturday from 10am until 6pm, and Sunday 11am until 5pm. The Westgate branch is still closed.

Students that are shielding or not currently in Oxford can order books online at

Image credit to Steve Daniels.

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