May 27, 2020
This week, the Prime Minister outlined the next steps of the Government’s plan to safely reopen our schools and our economy.
The Government’s intention is also to allow outdoor markets and car showrooms to reopen from 1 June, as the risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces.
All other non-essential retail will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the Covid-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare.
These careful and deliberate steps forward will only be taken if the Government’s five tests are met by Thursday 28 May, as we cannot risk a second wave of the virus. But it means we are taking the right steps to prepare for the future in the safest way possible.
In this week’s press conference, from 15th June, Boris Johnson announced that he intends to allow all non-essential retail businesses, from department stores to small, independent shops, to reopen.
It’s important that we open businesses without risking a second wave of the virus. That means Businesses will also have to do a proper risk assessment to address the risks of COVID-19, and to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level. And for shoppers, that means social distancing measures will stay in place, and retail premises must be COVID-secure and follow Government guidelines.
We want to make sure that people are confident that they can shop safely, so long as the follow the social distancing rules. So we are continuing to follow expert advice in our policymaking, to control the virus and save lives.
But because of the progress we are making, infection rates are falling, and we’re in a position to take careful, deliberate steps, to rebuilding our country.
Guided by the science, our aim will be ensuring that we avoid a second peak which overwhelms the NHS. Protecting the health and safety of the British public is, and will always be, our top priority.
Every day, we will continue to monitor the infection rate of the virus and checking what we know against the five tests:
Reliable data from SAGE, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, tells us that new infections are continuing to drop, which shows that our plan is working. But we’re remaining vigilant, and will only reopen our economy and our society in the safest possible way.
This not the time to end the lockdown. But this is the time to make careful and deliberate measures – stay alert, to control the virus, and save lives.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”