SHOPS will have to introduce tough new social distancing measures, including providing hand sanitiser and ensuring stores are clean when they reopen from June 15.
Michael Gove, who made the comments on BBC Breakfast this morning, added that shoppers will also be banned from trying on clothes and make-up in stores in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
It follows Boris Johnson declaring yesterday that outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to get back to business from June 1.
Meanwhile, all other non-essential shops are to be allowed to reopen their doors from June 15 to help struggling high streets get back up and running.
Mr Gove said: “It is appropriate when shops reopen that we have social distancing, we know already that it is possible to sell goods, possible for people to get the goods they need and do so while respecting social distancing.
“It is important we have high quality hygiene, and ensure everything from the provision of hand sanitiser to overnight hygiene is of the highest level.
“We also need to ensure that some of the shopping habits people might have grown used to in the pre-covid days are habits we all exercise a degree of restraint on.
“So when it comes to touching and testing goods, when it comes to trying on clothing, trying on makeup and so on, all of us exercise restraint in not doing that.”
Mr Gove insisted doing so would not only help the nation stay safe, but also boost the economy.
He explained: “As these stores reopen, it is a new normal, and will allow us to ensure a wider range of goods and also enable the economy to return to a new normal.
“We also need to make sure our economy is restored to greater health.”
Shops flouting coronavirus guidelines will be punished, Mr Johnson yesterday warned.
Supermarket Aldi today said it will introduce traffic lights in its 875 stores from today that will signal when customers can enter based on individual store customer limits that are in line with two-metre social distancing rules.
This is on top of existing measures including protective screens at checkouts, distancing markers on shop floors, sanitisation stations for customers as well as signage to offer clear guidance on how to shop safely.
Stores are also encouraging one customer per trolley where possible, although NHS and blue light workers will continue to get priority access to stores and will be allowed to skip the outside queues.
More to follow…
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