The high street bakery Greggs has postponed reopening 20 stores next week over fears of overcrowding.
The takeaway chain temporarily shut all of its 2,050 branches last month to protect customers and staff after the Government ordered all non-essential shops to close.
Greggs had said it was set to reopen some of its branches in the Newcastle area next week to test if it could operate without breaking social distancing rules, but has now changed its mind.
A spokesperson said today: ‘Due to significant interest in our 20-shop trial, and the risk that excessive numbers of customers may plan to visit Greggs, we will now initially operate these trials behind closed doors in order to effectively test our new operational safety measures.
‘We will continue to review this and will invite walk-in customers into our shops only when we can be confident of doing so in the controlled manner we intended.’
Greggs had hoped that if feedback was positive from the trial it could move to phase two with 700 shops reopening.
It had cautioned that phase two would only be possible if the government has taken a first step in relaxing the lockdown which could be to reopen schools, allowing more people to return to work.