After a year of no fitting rooms, shoppers will be able to try before they buy once again when non-essential shops reopen on April 12.

After more than a year of no fitting rooms, the Government has released new guidance for stores and shoppers after advising that changing rooms remain closed “wherever possible” unless essential after the first lockdown.

Retailers have been calling for updated guidance when non-essential shops reopen later this month in an effort to compete with online rivals, reduce return rates and restore faith in the safety of the high street.

The new guidance published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) allows for fitting rooms to be reopened provided shops introduce measures to minimise transmission of the virus.

Stores are advised to deploy a staff member to control entry to changing areas and allow only one person at a time into a cubicle, with exceptions allowed for those who have disabilities or are shopping with children.

Managers are advised to leave a gap of “several minutes” between customers and cubicles should be cleaned regularly.

The guidance adds that retailers should create “procedures to manage clothes that have been tried on, to minimise contact between customers and staff”.

However, it stops short of advising that items should be quarantined after customers have tried them on.

The guidance says: “The enclosed nature of fitting rooms may result in increased risk of transmission of Covid-19. They should therefore be carefully managed to reduce that risk.

“Retail businesses should update their risk assessments for each premises where fitting rooms are being used.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “We have set out our road map to reopen the economy and have recently published updated safer workplace guidance having worked closely with retailers, trade unions and medical experts so that businesses can reopen in a way that is as safe as possible for workers and customers.”