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What must non-essential shops do in order to safely re-open from Monday?

Shops will need to develop hygiene procedures, increasing the frequency of hand-washing and surface cleaning.

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Keith Irvine, general manager of Wardens, serving a customer through the store’s PPE (Liam McBurney/PA)

Keith Irvine, general manager of Wardens, serving a customer through the store’s PPE (Liam McBurney/PA)

Keith Irvine, general manager of Wardens, serving a customer through the store’s PPE (Liam McBurney/PA)

Shops in England will be allowed to reopen from Monday as lockdown measures are eased further.

– Which shops can open from June 15?

All non-essential retail shops will be able to reopen from Monday, provided they follow Government guidelines to make them “Covid-secure”.

These include clothes and shoe shops, book shops, electronics retailers, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, indoor markets, and shops selling toys.

– What will retailers have to do to get ready?

Shops are expected to have carried out a risk assessment, overseen by local authority staff and the Health and Safety Executive.

As well as informing all employees about the assessment’s findings, companies with more than 50 employees will be expected to publish the results on their website.

Shops will need to develop hygiene procedures, increasing the frequency of hand-washing and surface cleaning.

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Joanne Neale, manager of the china and gift department at Wardens in Newtownards (L:iam McBurney/PA)

Joanne Neale, manager of the china and gift department at Wardens in Newtownards (L:iam McBurney/PA)

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Joanne Neale, manager of the china and gift department at Wardens in Newtownards (L:iam McBurney/PA)

Retailers will be expected to take steps including limiting how many customers there are inside their building at any one time and frequently cleaning and checking objects and surfaces.

They are also advised to place protective coverings on large items like sofas as they might be touched by passing shoppers.

Employers are also expected to place a notice on display so customers and staff can see that they are complying with the Government guidance.

The Government has said businesses may face fines and prison sentences of up to two years if they fail to protect customers and staff.

– What will the public have to do?

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Signage reminding shoppers of social-distancing rules in a River Island store in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

Signage reminding shoppers of social-distancing rules in a River Island store in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

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Signage reminding shoppers of social-distancing rules in a River Island store in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

Shoppers will have to “exercise restraint” by not trying on clothing and testing goods, Cabinet Officer minister Michael Gove has previously said.

The Government has said that fitting rooms should be closed when possible due to the challenges in operating them safely.

When they need to be open, contact between customers and staff should be limited and they should be cleaned frequently, typically after each use.

Clothes that have been tried on should also be managed carefully.

Store layouts may need to change to limit the amount customers handle merchandise, which may include different methods of displaying products or regularly replacing frequently touched stock.

– Are there some businesses which still cannot open on June 15?

Yes. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said pubs, bars, restaurants and hairdressers will not be able to reopen until July 4 “at the earliest”.

The Government said these businesses remain closed because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher due to there generally being long periods of person-to-person contact.

– Are there any concerns among these businesses about their reopening?

Yes. Organisations representing the hospitality industry have called for the rule requiring people to stay two metres apart to be reduced to one metre.

They fear many venues such as pubs and restaurants will not be able to make enough money if the current rule, which restricts customer numbers more severely, stays in place.

Mr Sharma said the two-metre rule was being kept under review and “when it is safe to do so, we will see whether you can move to a shorter distance”.

He added: “We are taking a cautious view on this. I completely understand why for economic reasons businesses will want to have a look at this two-metre rule.”

– What about other parts of the UK?

The Welsh Government said last month that it would make a decision on non-essential retailers at the next review of coronavirus measures on June 18, after taking into account scientific and medical evidence.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said this week that she is “optimistic” at the next review of restrictions on June 18 that Scotland will be “able to move, at least in part into the next phase” of its route out of lockdown.

Moving into phase two in Scotland could allow pubs and restaurants to open outdoor spaces, and smaller stores may also be able to reopen for business, with physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.

In Northern Ireland larger stores with street entrances were permitted to reopen from Monday, while the economy minister Diane Dodds has indicated plans to allow smaller retail stores to reopen from Friday.

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