UK government eyes staged retail reopening from 15 June

Hosting the UK government’s COVID-19 update yesterday evening, PM Boris Johnson announced the government’s provisional plans to re-open all non-essential retail businesses on 15 June.

PM Johnson laid out the UK government’s plans to reopen England’s highstreet stores, obeying strict social distancing orders and ensuring that businesses can maintain employee safety.

The government will manage a ‘staged reopening’, allowing outdoor markets and car showrooms to reopen first from the start of June.

Should conditions of the government’s ‘five key tests’ be maintained during early June, the government will further ease lockdown restrictions allowing all English non-essential retail shops to reopen from 15 June.

Targeting a mid-June reopening, the UK government has published new ‘retail sector guidance detailing measures to ensure in-store hygiene standards and further necessary social distancing practices which consumers must adhere to.

Betting shops and arcades are listed on the UK government’s website as non-essential retail businesses that will be allowed to reopen, should conditions be met.

The government’s retail guidance read: “Shops and branches include all retail stores, including –  food retailers, chemists, hardware/homeware stores, fashion shops, charity shops, betting shops and arcades, tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers, car dealerships, auction houses, antique stores, retail art galleries, and similar types of retail.”

The UK government has maintained its lockdown orders on the leisure industry, which will face a tougher set of requirements with regards to the staged reopening of pubs, clubs, casinos and gyms to ensure consumer and employee safety.

In his address, PM Johnson underlined that the UK had entered ‘phase 2’ of its lockdown protocol, in which the government continues to assess the easing of business and civic restrictions through the key indicator of the virus’ infection rate, in order to avoid a second wave COVID-19 spreading.

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