Clothes and charity shops and bike stores can open from next Monday, Business Sec confirms


CLOTHES and charity shops and bike stores can open from next Monday, the Business Secretary confirmed this evening. 

Non-essential retail will begin to open back up from next week as the Government tries to get Britain’s businesses up and running after months of shut down.

Shoppers leave a newly re-opened Zara in Dublin

Brits will be able to start shopping again and donating their clothes to charity stores after months of lockdown sort-outs.

The move is part of the Government’s effort to re-open Britain’s economy after most shops and businesses were forced to keep their doors closed since March 23.

Alok Sharma said this evening: “Now thanks to the efforts of the British people we have succeeded in reducing the number of infections and getting the R rate (rate of transmission of the virus) under control. 

“That is why we can carefully begin to open parts of economy in a phased and careful manner.

I can confirm today that retail outlets which have been required to close will be able to open their doors against from Monday June 15, so long as they comply with the Covid secure guidelines 

“This is the latest step in the careful restarting of our economy and will enable high streets up and down the country to spring back to life.”

Businesses will need to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment before opening and will need to display a notice in their windows declaring they have put steps in place to stop the spread of the virus.

Customers will have to follow strict social distancing and many shops will have to limit the number of people allowed in – forcing people to wait in supermarket style queues.

Hand sanitiser stations for staff and customers will need to be installed in stores and returned items will need to be quarantined for 72 hours in case they carry germs which could spread for coronavirus.

The Government is under increasing pressure to relax the 2 metre social distancing rule so shops can recover quicker by allowing more people into their shops.

Mr Sharma said this evening they were keeping the 2 metre rule but they were taking a “cautious view on this”.

The Business Secretary said: “I completely understand why for economical reasons businesses will want to have a look at this 2 metre rule, as I said with all of these matters, we keep this under review.

“This is about what is safe and we will only make changes when it is safe to do so.”

Shoppers could also be banned from trying on clothes or testing make-up and other products to limit the spread of germs. 

Some shops have taken an innovative approach to social distancing measures – Aldi created a traffic-light system so customers know when it is safe to enter a store.

Outdoor markets and car showrooms were allowed to open earlier this month.

The hospitality sector is hoping pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open in July, with hopes outdoor beer gardens could open as soon as June 22.

Mr Sharma confirmed the Government was working to the timetable laid out by the Prime Minister last month, and the opening date for the hospitality sector would not be until July.

He said: “As soon as we can, we will publish further guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars as well as hairdresser, barbers, nail bars and related services.

“There has been a lot of speculation about when they might be able to reopen. 

“I understand why we are all so keen, I share that.

“We continue to follow the roadmap which sets out our ambition to reopen these sectors from 4 July at the earliest.”