Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in the Downing Street daily press briefing on Monday, May 25 that more shops are set to open on Monday, June 15 – a date which ministers have stressed could change if reductions in coronavirus infection rates fail to meet expectations.
Gift shops in museums, retail spaces in theatres, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites will also be allowed to open - paving the way for visitors to return to tourist hotspots at a later date.
The Government has also said that people’s shopping experiences will be “very different” to what they were before – with Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office, telling BBC Breakfast on Tuesday, May 26 that shoppers will have to “exercise restraint” by not trying on clothes or testing goods before they buy.
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He added: "It's also the case that we need to ensure that some of the shopping habits people may have grown used to in the pre-Covid days are habits that we exercise a degree of restraint on.”
Before reopening, retail bosses must consider who is essential to be on the premises, plan for the minimum number of people needed on site and keep across the mental and physical wellbeing of staff.
The Government has also ruled that clinically vulnerable employees can return to work – but added that they should be offered the “safest available on-site roles, enabling them to stay two metres away from others” if they cannot work from home.
Some of these are already allowed to be open and operational, with the Government’s guidance also applying to those currently open, including banks, post offices and other money businesses.
The full list of retailers which can be open from June 15 includes the following:
*Betting shops and arcades
*Tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
*Retail art galleries
*Gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
*Mobile phone stores
*Indoor and outdoor markets
*Similar types of retail
Introducing the UK’s lockdown measures on Monday, March 23, the Government said that only retailers deemed "essential" - which included supermarkets and grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, petrol stations, vets and pet stores, food markets and bike shops - could remain open.
Days after the original announcement, off-licences and other licensed shops selling alcohol, including those in breweries, were confirmed as still being allowed to remain open.
Restaurants, pubs and cafes were all forced to shut their doors to customers, but remained able to serve takeaway food to customers in line with social distancing measures and deliver takeaways.
More recently, garden centres and estate agents were both given the go-ahead to reopen on Wednesday, May 13.