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11 June 2020, 11:40
The government has announced plans to ease lockdown restrictions by allowing thousands of shops to reopen from next week.
Following 11 weeks of forced closure, Business secretary Alok Sharma gave all non-essential shops the green light to welcome customers again from Monday, June 15.
The retailers will have been closed since March 23, if not before, and now have to complete a coronavirus risk assessment to show they can implement social distancing measures.
Zoos and other outdoor attractions will also be allowed to reopen from Monday, if they meet Covid-19 restriction measures.
The government said it has issued guidance for people who “work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments”.
Mr Sharma said on Tuesday: “We can carefully begin to open parts of economy in a phased and careful manner.
“I can confirm today that retail outlets which have been required to close will be able to open their doors again from Monday June 15, so 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.”
The government’s website has listed shops and branches that are allowed to be open as follows:
Gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
Indoor and outdoor markets
Mobile phone stores
Retail art galleries
Tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
Similar types of retail
Mr Sharma also announced that pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, nail bars and the rest of the hospitality sector will remain shut until at least July 4.