Government unveils timetable for non-essential retail business re-openings in June
The government has set out a timetable for non-essential retail businesses to re-open in June as long as they can keep staff and customers safe.
In yesterday’s daily Covid-19 briefing, prime minister Boris Johnson said the first step will include outdoor markets and car showrooms opening on 1 June. This will be conditional on them being able to meet the government’s Covid-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
All other non-essential retail stores will re-open on 15 June. Tailors, auction houses, photography studios and indoor markets will also be allowed to operate if the Government’s five Covid-tests are met.
Prior to re-opening, businesses will be required to complete a risk assessment in consultation with trade unions or workers and be confident they can manage any risks. They must also have taken the necessary steps to become Covid-19 secure in line with current health and safety legislation.
The government is publishing 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.
It will also be working with local authorities to carry out spot checks and follow up on any concerns raised by members of the public.
At the briefing, Johnson highlighted how well supermarkets, food shops and pharmacies have coped with the Covid-19 safety requirements during the pandemic.
Commenting on the news, 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 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.”
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