Sat, 20 July 2024

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Time to listen to construction industry experts if we’re to truly “get Britain building” Partner content
Prioritise progress on a deposit return scheme to start delivering on the Green Prosperity Plan Partner content
How clean energy will help deliver UK economic growth Partner content
By Social Market Foundation (SMF)
We need a heart disease action plan to end heartbreak for good Partner content
By British Heart Foundation
Press releases

Shops given green light to reopen to help high streets ‘spring back to life’, Alok Sharma confirms

Business Secretary Alok Sharma

2 min read

Non-essential shops will be able to reopen in England next week in a bid to help high streets “spring back to life”, Alok Sharma has confirmed.

The Business Secretary told Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing that the Government’s five tests for easing lockdown measures continued to be met, meaning retailers will be able to welcome customers from Monday, June 15.

“This is the latest step in the careful restarting of our economy and will enable high streets to spring back to life,” he said.

All must carry out a Covid-specific risk assessment, Mr Sharma added, put in place proper social distancing safety systems and display a sign to show they have done so.

The advice currently offered to retailers asks them to consider how many people can “reasonably” fit into their stores and to “limit the number of customers”.

Those who fail to adhere to the guidelines could face enforcement measures, with regular checks being carried out by local authority and Health and Safety Executive officials.

The Business Secretary said the Government would publish updated guidelines for businesses still unable to operate, including pubs, bars, restaurants and hairdressers, with a view to reopening them on July 4 “at the earliest”.

“I completely understand why we are so keen to get these up and running,” he told the briefing.

“We will be redoubling effort to listen to and work with the business community.”

Mr Sharma plans to hold five ‘recovery roundtables’ with businesses representatives and academics in the coming days, which will feed directly into the Government's economic recovery plans.

Asked how pubs and restaurants could make a profit under two-metre social distancing guidelines, Mr Sharma said any possibility of easing them would be kept “under review” and that it would change “only when it is safe”.

“The two-metre rule is currently in place. We, of course, take advice from our scientists, from Sage. And of course, when it safe to do so, we will see if you can move to a shorter distance. But ultimately we keep all these things under review," he added.

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more