// UK retailers call for “further clarity” about the updated lockdown guidelines
// Boris Johnson’s Sunday announcement was criticised for being vague
Retailers in the UK have urged the government to provide “further clarity” about plans to reopen services as the lockdown begins to ease.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined on Sunday the next steps in the easing of the lockdown – which was widely criticised for being vague.
The PM said “non-essential” stores could reopen from June 1.
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These stores have been closed since March 23 in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson called for “further clarity” from the government in the coming days.
“We need a plan for shopping as well as shops – this means a plan that allows safe navigation both to and through our retail centres – and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the government to support this process.”
The retail sector in the UK suffered its greatest ever decline in footfall in the four weeks from April 5 to May 2 – down 80.1 per cent year-on-year.
“We share the view of the prime minister that safety is what counts when determining when shops can reopen.
“Already retailers around the country are working on plans for reopening safely and with all necessary social distancing measures in place,” Dickinson said.
“The BRC and Usdaw have supported this process with our own social distancing guidance, learning from the experiences of thousands of supermarkets and other essential retailers.
“It is vital that the reopening of stores is based on who can do so safely, as opposed to trying to draw lines in terms of different sizes or types of shop.”