London, May 26 : All non-essential retailers across the UK will be able to reopen from June 15, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced, as part of plans to further ease the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.
Adressing the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing on Monday, Johnson said that the move was “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus”, and retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, the BBC reported.
Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from June 1.
Johnson said new guidance had been published for the retail sector “detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards”.
“Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen,” he said.
“This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.”
Commenting on the development, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “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 British Retail Consortium said it welcomed the announcement, adding it provided “much-needed clarity on the route ahead”.
A spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry added that the new guidance would help retailers to open “safely and securely”.
However, not all businesses are pleased with the announcement, said the BBC report.
The British Association of Independent Retailers said many small shops had been preparing to open from next week, adding: “It is therefore a little disappointing for the smaller retailers not to be able to open until June 15, especially as they can make it safe to do so.”