Further lockdown restrictions are now starting to be eased across England following the government’s latest review on 28 May, including plans to reopen shops.
The reopening of retail outlets will be done in phases, with some sites able to reopen for business from the start of June.
When will shops reopen?
As of 1 June, outdoor markets and car showrooms are permitted to start trading again in England, providing customers can be kept safe.
All other non-essential retailers will reopen to customers two weeks later, from 15 June.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the reopening of non-essential retailers is dependent on the following of new Covid-19 secure guidelines, to keep both shoppers and workers safe.
Such guidance includes the use of screens and barriers to separate people where possible, banning large groups from entering stores at the same time, operating a one-way system in store, and increasing the frequency of hand-washing and surface cleaning.
Fitting rooms will also be banned from use and customers are encouraged to only touch items they intend to buy.
Which shops are reopening today?
Outdoor markets and car showrooms reopened in England on 1 June.
The reopening follows several DIY, garden and homeware stores which have already been permitted to restart trading, including B&Q and Homebase.
Dunelm, Matalan, IKEA, DFS, ScS and Furniture Village also began gradually reopening branches to customers at the end of May, after the UK government clarified its definition of “essential” retailers to include homeware stores.
Poundland has also reopened more than 70 of its stores across the UK, with new social distancing measures in place in an effort to keep shoppers safe.
What about other non-essential shops?
While outdoor markets and car showrooms can reopen from 1 June, all other non-essential stores have a slightly longer wait.
Retailers including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, will be allowed to reopen to customers from 15 June.
Several high street retailers and department stores have already announced plans to reopen from this date, with new safety measures in place.
John Lewis is planning a phased reopening, starting with two in Pool and Kingston on 15 June. This will be followed by a further 11 on 18 June.
High street retailer Next plans to reopen 25 stores on 15 June, starting with its largest shops that can most easily facilitate social distancing, while Primark will reopen all 153 of its stores in England.
Despite entering administration in April, department store Debenhams has negotiated a deal with its landlords to reopen the majority of its 142 stores in June.
The Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Burton, will also reopen all of its clothes shops to customers on 15 June, while Boots will reopen its beauty counters from Monday (15 June).
Here’s the full list of retailers that will be allowed to open from 15 June:
- Food retailers
- Hardware/homeware stores
- Fashion shops
- Charity shops
- Betting shops and arcades
- Tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
- Car dealerships
- Auction houses
- Antique stores
- Retail art galleries
- Photography studios
- Gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
- Mobile phone stores
- Indoor and outdoor markets
- Craft fairs
- Similar types of retail
What about the rest of the UK?
While non-essential retailers in England can reopen from 15 June, no dates have yet been confirmed for the reopening of shops in the rest of the UK.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have set out their own plans for the easing of lockdown restrictions, with Scotland permitting the reopening of small shops and outdoor markets in phase two of its approach.
The country entered phase one on 28 May, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcing a gradual easing of rules which came into force the following day.
In Wales, non-essential shops could reopen for business when it reaches the amber phase of its exit plan, while in Northern Ireland, non-food retail outlets will be allowed to reopen in step two of its exit plan.
However, no exact dates for these measures to be introduced have yet been confirmed.