- Huw Hughes |
Non-essential stores in the UK will be able to reopen from 15 June as the country looks to cautiously reopen.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement on Monday evening, saying retailers will need to obey new health and safety guidelines published for the retail sector.
“Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen,” he said. “This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.”
He also said that it is not a concrete date, as it still depends on the state of the Covid-19 spread.
If they do reopen on that date, it will be 12 weeks to the day they were forced to close in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
From 1 June, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen.
Though the long-term effect Covid-19 will have on retail’s bounceback is unclear, Johnson did encourage people to go out and spend if they can once stores reopen.
“I think in so far as people can get out and enjoy themselves in the open air from 1 June and make use of markets and car showrooms, I’m certainly not going to discourage them from spending at all,” he said. “I think it’s early days, but we are very much hoping there will be a bounceback over the course of the next few months.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "Enabling these businesses to open will be a critical step on the road to rebuilding our economy, and will support millions of jobs across the UK."
Welcome news for UK retailers
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “We welcome the announcement of the Government’s roadmap for reopening a broader range of shops next month, which provides much needed clarity on the route ahead. Safety is the fundamental concern for all retailers and they have been working hard to implement the necessary measures to operate safely over the past weeks.
“Now that we know which shops can open and when, retailers can begin communicating their plans with their workforces and customers. The industry stands ready to play its part in getting the economy moving again.”
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