Boris Johnson has announced that all non-essential retailers will be able to open from 15 June as part of ongoing plans to ease the lockdown.
The Prime Minister said, however, that this step will depend on how the fight progresses against COVID-19. He added that retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines in order to operate whilst also protecting shoppers and workers.
“Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen,” said Johnson. “This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.”
Responding, Josh Hardie, CBI Deputy Director General, said: “As our high streets slowly reawaken, this new guidance is important for businesses on the ground.
“Our shops are doing all they can to keep the public and their staff safe, and we’ve seen many retailers leading from the front with innovative solutions to do just that.
“As more and more businesses turn their attention to reopening, this guidance will help them plan to do so safely and securely.”
BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: “Clarity and guidance on plans for a phased reopening of the retail sector will be welcomed.
“Businesses will be taking a safe, proportionate and risk-based approach to returning to work, in close consultation with their staff. For many this will be an entirely new way of operating as they apply guidance to the practical realities of their business.
“HSE and local authorities should support businesses as they seek to comply with the new rules – and reserve new enforcement powers for the tiny minority of businesses who are wilfully disobeying or ignoring their obligations.”