Hosting the COVID-19 update from the UK government yesterday evening, PM Boris Johnson announced on 15 June the government’s provisional plans to re-open all non-essential retail businesses.
PM Johnson set out plans by the UK government to reopen high-street stores in England, complying with strict social distancing orders and ensuring companies can retain employee health.
A ‘staged reopening’ will be handled by the government, enabling outdoor markets and car showrooms to reopen as of the beginning of June.
If conditions for the ‘five key tests’ of the government are preserved at the beginning of June, the government will further ease lockdown restrictions enabling all non-essential English retail shops to reopen from June 15.
In the run-up to the reopening in mid-June, the UK Government released a new ‘Retail Industry Guidance’ outlining steps to ensure in-store hygiene standards and the required social distance practises that shoppers will follow.
On the UK Government’s website, betting shops and arcades are classified as non-essential retail businesses that are permitted to reopen should conditions be met.
The market advice of the Government reads: “Shops and branches include all retail stores, including – food retailers, chemists, hardware/homeware stores, fashion shops, charity shops, betting shops and arcades, tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers, car dealerships, auction houses, antique stores, retail art galleries, and similar types of retail.”
The UK Government has kept its lockout directives on the leisure sector, which will face a tougher set of conditions for the phased reopening of bars, clubs, casinos and gyms to ensure the health of customers and employees.
In his address, PM Johnson stressed that the UK had entered ‘phase 2’ of its lockdown protocol, under which the government continues to assess the easing of business and civic restrictions via the primary indicator of the rate of infection of the virus, under order to avoid spreading a second wave of COVID-19.