Rishi Sunak visits shop prior to opening of markets

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LONDON: The Chancellor Rishi Sunak visited a Waterstones, one of the thousands of shops opening their doors on June 15. Nearly 7,000 high streets reawaken on Monday as non-essential retail can open as part of the government’s plan to gradually and safely reopen the economy. Non-essential retail employs 1.3 million people and provides £46.6bn to our economy every year.

Rishi Sunak visited a Waterstones in London to see some of the measures they’ve put in place to ensure they are ready to welcome customers again next week.

LONDON: Chancellor Rishi Sunak talking to an attendant during his visit to Waterstones in central London.

Together, the non-essential retail sector employs 1.3 million people in high streets up and down the country and provides £46.6bn to our economy every year. They’re able to reopen thanks to the ongoing efforts of people across the country to meet the Five Tests set out by the Prime Minister.

Waterstones have installed sneeze guards and sanitiser stations, and browsed books will be removed and quarantined.

Rishi Sunak, said: “From Monday, shops selling books, clothes, and electronics are able to open for business for the first time in more than two months, as part of our plan to gradually and safely reopen the economy.”

“There are nearly 7,000 high streets across the country, each providing a valuable service to their community. They will be vital in helping kickstart the economy as we recover from the virus.”

Kate Skipper, Waterstones’ Chief Operating Officer said: “We are delighted to be reopening on 15 June as we bring our shops safely out of hibernation. We can’t wait to welcome booklovers back to their natural habitat as we return to serving our customers within their communities. Healthy local high streets are vital to communities at all times, providing much-needed services and employment to their neighbourhoods.

“New measures will be in place to ensure the safety of our customers and our booksellers but our shops will still be bursting full of interesting books to read. We look forward to seeing you there,” he added.