Retail shops in all parts of England will be allowed to reopen when lockdown ends next month, the Prime Minister has announced.
Boris Johnson said that the three-tiered regional measures will return from 2 December, but he added that each tier will be toughened. We will hear more about the tiers later this week.
The PM addressed the nation yesterday via video link and said he anticipated that more regions will end up in higher tier levels than when the tier system was in place before, some temporarily.
He also apologised for the “hardship” that such restrictions would cause business owners. It is not yet known what rules and restrictions will be in place for retailers in the higher tier regions but there is no doubt that from high streets to retail parks, shops play an integral role in the run up to Christmas.
Responding to Mr Johnson’s announcement, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, said that retailers will be relieved by the Government’s confirmation that all shops can reopen once the current restrictions are lifted.
She said: “SAGE data has always highlighted that retail is a safe environment, and firms have spent hundreds of millions on safety measures including perspex screens, additional cleaning and social distancing and will continue to follow all safety guidance. As a result, customers can be reassured that retail premises are COVID-secure and safe to visit over the festive period.
“While retailers have stepped up their online delivery over the course of 2020, the bulk of Christmas shopping tends to be done in store. The Government’s decision to keep all of retail open will help to preserve jobs and the economy and help keep Christmas a festive occasion for everyone.”