Shops to reopen from Monday in England; announces Alok Sharma


LONDON: Shops in England will be allowed to reopen from Monday, the Government announced, just hours after scrapping plans to get more primary school children back in class before September.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed plans for non-essential shops to open their doors as the Government continued efforts to repair the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Alok Sharma MP

Shops will only be able to open their doors if they have completed a Covid-19 risk assessment and can implement social distancing measures. But other businesses, including pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, will remain shut until July 4 at the earliest, Mr Sharma said.

The Business Secretary said shops would be allowed to reopen as long as they comply with the “Covid-secure” guidelines.”This is the latest step in the careful restarting of our economy and will enable high streets up and down the country to spring back to life,” he said.

Enforcement notices can be issued if shops reopen without following the guidance, he added. Many businesses have warned that the rule requiring people to stay two metres apart would jeopardise their ability to reopen.

Mr Sharma said it was being kept under review and “when it is safe to do so, we will see whether you can move to a shorter distance”. He added: “We are taking a cautious view on this. I completely understand why for economic reasons businesses will want to have a look at this two-metre rule.”