Prime Minister Boris Johnson sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June
Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across England have been given the green light to reopen next month the Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday 25th May.
Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.
Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.
The government has published updated COVID-secure guidelines for people who work in or run shops, branches, and stores, after consultation with businesses, union leaders, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said “The guidance we have set out today provides a vital framework to get shops open in a way that is safe for everyone. It explains how retail workers who are not currently working can go back to work as safely as possible and feel confident in their workplace. And it reassures customers that shops are properly assessing the risks and putting in place measures to protect them.”
The updated guidance takes into account the best practice demonstrated by the many retailers which have been allowed to remain open and have applied social distancing measures in store. Measures that shops should consider include; placing a poster in their windows 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, and frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly.
As per the government roadmap, hairdressers, nail bars and beauty salons, and the hospitality sector, remain closed. The risk of transmission in these environments is higher due to the requirement of long periods of person to person contact.
Andrew Goodacre, CEO, British Independent Retailers Association, said” 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.”