June 15, 2020

Shop safely today: shops can reopen their doors in England

From June 15th, shops are able to reopen their doors in England, in the next step in our careful easing of lockdown – provided they are meeting robust safety guidelines, keeping staff and customers safe as we get our economy moving again.

This has been the most challenging period for shops and high streets in our history. We know how difficult the last few months has been. And we have been working with businesses, representative groups and trade unions on guidance to enable them to reopen as safely as possible.

That means our economy can begin to recover, high streets across the UK can spring back to life, and people can start to return to normality — whilst ensuring we keep the risk of infection down to avoid the possibility of a second wave.

Why we are reopening high street shops.

Thanks to everyone following the Government’s guidance, we have slowed the spread of coronavirus. Now, we are at a stage to start reopening the economy. That’s why, on June 15th, we have been able to re-open thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres across England.

Provided they follow government guidelines to keep staff and customers as safe as possible, retailers can open their doors again and start to return to normal. This is the latest careful step in restarting our economy and get the economy working again.

What businesses can reopen?

A large number of retailers have been able to reopen on June 15th, including but not limited to:

  • High street retailers
  • Department stores
  • Book shops
  • Electronic retailers
  • Tailors
  • Auction houses
  • Photography studios
  • Indoor markets
  • Clothes & footwear stores
  • Toy stores

These businesses will be allowed to open their doors again provided they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines set out by the government in May. They should also display a notice visibly in their shop windows or outside their store to show customers, staff, and others that they are following Government guidance.

Unfortunately, hairdressers, nail bars and beauty salons, and the hospitality sector remain closed. The risk of transmission in these environments is higher where long periods of person to person contact is required. So, after expert consultation, these businesses will not open for the time being.

You can find more information on the Government’s website about working safely during coronavirus.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said about the announcement:

Shops, department stores and shopping centres that have been closed since March will be able to reopen from Monday 15 June, provided they put in place the necessary steps to keep their workers and customers safe. This is the latest step in the careful restarting of the economy and will enable high streets up and down the country to spring back to life.

I would like to thank workers at supermarkets, pharmacies, post offices and other essential retailers who have introduced social distancing to keep the public and their staff safe. Now is the time to apply these principles to even more shops to allow workers safely back into stores and welcome back shoppers, as we look to get the economy going again.

And on the June 9th Press Conference, the Business Secretary confirmed the UK continues to meet the 5 tests set out in the Prime Minister’s roadmap, meaning it is safe to continue gradually reopening parts of the economy.

Stay alert. Control the virus. Save lives.

Coronavirus is the biggest challenge the UK has faced in decades – and we are not alone. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this disease. It threatens to take both our way of life and our loved ones from us.

Thanks to the hard work, resilience and sacrifice of the British people, and despite a tragic loss of life, the UK has slowed the spread of coronavirus. The death rate and hospital admissions are coming down, and we have protected the NHS and saved many thousands of lives.

We must not relent now – or else there is a very real risk of a second peak of the disease that could overwhelm the NHS and throw away all of our achievements to date.

The Government will remain hyper-vigilant over the coming weeks to make sure the number of cases do not start rising again and put at risk what we have achieved. But must all continue to play our part. By staying alert, so we can control the virus and save lives.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

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.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)