All non-essential retail outlets will be allowed to reopen from June 15, provided the government’s five tests have been met and that outlets are ‘COVID secure’, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to reopen from June 1, also provided guidelines are met. Speaking on Monday evening, Mr Johnson said that the UK has been making progress in tackling the Coronavirus and that the ‘R’ number of the virus (infection rate) remains below 1.
It is understood that the measures will only apply in England, as the devolved administrations of the UK have previously said that their nations will not follow timelines set out by Downing Street for the easing of lockdown measures.
The reopening of retail outlets will see more of the economy start to return to operation. Some retail outlets have continued to provide delivery services during the pandemic, though non-essential outlets themselves have had their doors closed to the public since March 23.
The government has set out guidelines to help workplaces like shops, branches and stores to be ‘COVID secure’ when reopening. When shops reopen, it can be expected that there will likely be measures similar to those in supermarkets, with limited numbers of customers allowed in stores at any one time, there being increased cleaning and also strict social distancing measures.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister confirmed that primary schools should be planning for some students in key year groups to return from June 1. The easing of these restrictions, as with the easing of other restrictions, rely on the government meeting its five tests by Thursday (28 May), including their being evidence of continually falling death rates from the Coronavirus in the UK. Boris Johnson said on Monday that he is confident that these tests will be met.
If the UK continues to make progress and the number of Coronavirus deaths and infections continually falls, it is thought that some of the hospitality industry may be able to reopen in early July, in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown measures.
The number of daily deaths from the COVID-19 Coronavirus in the UK has been falling continually. In the most recent 24 hours of recorded data, 121 more people died in the UK with the virus, although reporting of data over the weekend is often inconsistent with the rest of the week.
According to the latest figures, 36,914 people have now died from the Coronavirus in the UK.