All non-essential retail shops can reopen in England from 15 June
Boris Johnson announced in the daily coronavirus briefing on Monday 25 May that non-essential shops will be able to reopen from 15 June in England, as part of the country’s plans to ease lockdown restrictions.
But which shops will be opening?
Here’s what you need to know.
Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, with all other non-essential retailers allowed to reopen in England from 15 June.
The Prime Minister said, “From 15 June, we intend to allow all other non-essential retail – ranging from department stores to small independent shops – to reopen.
“Again, this change will be contingent upon progress against the five tests and will only be permitted for those retail premises which are Covid-secure.”
Non-essential retailers include shops selling clothes, toys, furniture, shoes, books, electronics, alongside tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets.
What social distancing measures will be put in place?
Boris Johnson said the reopening of shops is "contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus", and that retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines in order to protect shoppers and workers.
New guidance has been published for the retail sector, which includes the measures that they should take in order to meet hygiene and social distancing standards.
This includes frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including trolleys, coffee machines and self-service checkouts, and placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas.
However, plans to reopen non-essential shops in June apply to England only. There are currently no updates for Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland on this issue.
Impact of lockdown on retail
Non-essential shops temporarily closed due to lockdown on 23 March, and many retailers have suffered as a result, with clothes shops like Warehouse and Oasis going out of business.
Debenhams also entered into administration for the second time in a year in April, forcing some of its branches to stay shut permanently.