Rebecca welcomes local shops reopening

From today, all non-essential shops, department stores and shopping centres will be able to reopen, provided they are meeting the Covid Secure guidelines and have put in place all the necessary steps to keep their workers and customers safe.

This has been the most challenging period for shops and high streets in our history – we know the toll the last few months have taken on them, and we have been working with businesses, business representative groups and trades unions on guidance to enable them to reopen as safely as possible.

This will help to restart our economy and allow high streets across the country to spring back to life – whilst ensuring we keep the risk of infection down to avoid the possibility of a second wave. As we cautiously move in to the next phase of ending lockdown, the reopening of non-essential retail shops was a crucial moment for people’s livelihoods and the economy – but it had to be done safely.

Working with trade unions, retail groups, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, we developed guidance for people who work in retail to give them confidence and information to open safely while adhering to social distancing. But without shop workers, this could not have been implemented, and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Whether retail workers went back to work today, or have been working throughout the pandemic, the resilience they’ve shown has been truly remarkable and crucial to the sector’s successful return to business.

Additional outdoor attractions

Drive-in cinemas, and animal attractions like zoos, farms and safari parks, are also allowed to open from today.