Non-essential retail to open from April 12

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced today that non-essential retail in England could reopen from April 12. Boris Johnson set out his exit roadmap from lockdown restrictions which includes a four-phase easing of restrictions starting with all pupils returning to school on March 8.

From March 29, outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed, along with 0utdoor sports, including football, golf and tennis. In the next phase, non-essential shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality will reopen on April 12, if strict conditions are met. Indoor hospitality and large crowd events will be some of the final activities to have restrictions eased.

Mr Johnson said progress to further steps depends on conditions around vaccination, infections, hospitalisations, deaths and new variants.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “Whilst it is good for us to have a date, we are very disappointed that non-essential shops will miss the Easter period, especially as they also missed out on most of the busy festive period.

“We therefore want the Chancellor to recognise this in the Budget next week and make clear statements about the support that will be available for the next 12 months.

“Independent retailers are desperate to be open and serving their communities – they have always been safe and will continue to be so. In the meantime we have large general retailers, and garden centres free to trade despite only selling a small amount of essential items with the prospect of being free form competition for the next seven weeks.”

Scotland is expected to set out its roadmap for exiting lockdown tomorrow.

Pictured: independent retailer, Creative Collective, Berkhamsted

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