Non-essential shops, outdoor markets and car showrooms to reopen in England in June

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Thousands of non-essential high street shops, department stores and shopping centres in England will be able to reopen next month, Boris Johnson has said.

The move is part of the Prime Minister’s plans to start easing lockdown restrictions, which will start with outdoor markets and car showrooms opening on June 1.

All other non-essential retailers including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets will be allowed to open on June 15, the Government has said.

However, hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons and hospitality businesses will remain closed.

Mr Johnson said all stores would need to be “Covid-19 secure” and show how shoppers and workers will be kept safe.

It also said it was working with local authorities and warned it would carry out spot checks and follow up on concerns by members of the public.

Business secretary Alok Sharma said: “The high street sits at the heart of every community in the country.

“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.”

The government said it was “taking action” to help businesses reopen and had published updated guidelines for retailers after consultation with businesses, union leaders, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

It said measures that shops should consider include:

  • Posters to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures

  • Storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor

  • Placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas

  • Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals

Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director general, said: “As our high streets slowly reawaken, this new guidance is important for businesses on the ground.

“Our shops are doing all they can to keep the public and their staff safe, and we’ve seen many retailers leading from the front with innovative solutions to do just that.

“As more and more businesses turn their attention to reopening, this guidance will help them plan to do so safely and securely.”

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), added: “Bira is pleased with the guidance being given to retail outlets.

“It provides a broad framework for the basic measures and still allows the retailer to be flexible according to the size, layout and location of the shop.

“This guidance will ensure that independent retailers provide safe environments for employees and customers.”

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