Businesses to begin reopening in some parts of UK, but some lockdown measures remain
The UK is beginning to see some changes to the lockdown status imposed from mid-March. Depending on where you are in the UK, non-essential businesses may be able to open premises and offices in the very near future.
But the guidelines are strongly dictated by which part of the United Kingdom the businesses are based. It is vital that business owners are aware of the rules depending upon where they are located.
From 15 June, all shops in England selling what are called non-essential goods will be able to open.
This includes retailers offering clothes, toys, books and electronics, as well as record shops, tailors, auction houses, photography studios and indoor markets.
Supermarkets, corner shops, banks, pharmacies and petrol stations have been able to remain open during the coronavirus lockdown.
Garden centres reopened in England on 13 May, followed by open air markets and car showrooms.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "optimistic" that if progress continued to be made, Scotland could move into the next phase of the government's "route map" towards lifting lockdown on 18 June.
That is the next formal review point for the Covid-19 restrictions.
Only in the second phase would people be allowed to meet up with another household indoors, as long as physical distancing is maintained. It may also involve re-opening more shops and businesses, as well as the resumption of professional sport.
Tourism Secretary, Fergus Ewing, also announced in Holyrood this week that, subject to certain conditions, Scotland's tourism businesses should prepare to reopen on 15 July.
The first minister said any changes might not include every element of the second phase, but that the Scottish Government would also look to "accelerate things from later phases" if possible.
All non-essential retailers can reopen in Northern Ireland from Friday June 12, Stormont's economy minister has said.
Pressure had been building on Stormont ministers for a more extensive opening of retail, as only shops in a limited range of sectors were permitted to re-open on Monday 8 June. Ministers agreed to the further changes for retailers, and are due to hold a special meeting on June 11 assessing long-term strategies for helping NI to slowly return to normality.
Mrs Dodds described the announcement on shops as a "major step forward" for the economy, but that it was time to accelerate the pace of recovery.
"It was agreed that as long as retailers can adhere to the necessary safety measures, and there is no increase in the spread of the virus by Thursday, then these shops can reopen," she added.
More shops could reopen when Wales moves to the amber status of its revival plan. The Welsh Government said last month that it would make a decision on non-essential retailers at the next review of coronavirus measures on June 18, after taking into account scientific and medical evidence.
- Priority groups of pupils to return to school in a phased approach
- travel for leisure allowed together with meeting with small groups of family or friends for exercise
- people able to access non-essential retail and services
- more people travelling to work
The amber status of the plan follows two more stringent categories; Lockdown and Red. Wales is currently in the lockdown category.
FSB Wales has recently released a report looking at repurposing public spaces to help retail businesses deal with social distancing. You can see the report here