// Lockdown in England may not be lifted until late April, according to leaked government documents
// Previous reports suggested they could reopen shortly after Easter, which is the first weekend of April
// PM Boris Johnson will reveal full details at a press conference tonight at 7pm
Reports have emerged that the government may not allow for non-essential retailers across England to exit lockdown and reopen until the latter half of April.
Over the weekend, leaked government details reported by The Sunday Times show that non-essential shops in England won’t be able to reopen until late April at the earliest, as part of the third stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
If true, the news could be a major blow for retailers after previous media reports suggested that non-essential shops would be able to reopen “shortly after” Easter, which is the first weekend of April.
- Wales lockdown to remain for at least another 3 weeks
- Northern Ireland lockdown extended to April
- Government urged to provide clarity on plans to exit lockdown
Other high street services, such as beauty salons and hairdressers may reopen around the same time as non-essential retailers, while hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants are not expected to reopen until May.
England’s current lockdown is due to end March 31, although the easing of restrictions may begin as early as March 8 with a phased return to school for pupils.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to reveal the full details of England’s lockdown exit roadmap during a press conference at 7pm tonight.
The news after Northern Ireland confirmed it would extend its own lockdown until April 1, although non-essential retailers can resume click-and-collect services from March 8.
The country’s Stormont Executive also said it would publish a road map out of lockdown on March 1.
Wales’ lockdown rules were also extended last week, and will remain in place for at least another three weeks.
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that there would be no further significant changes to the country’s lockdown as stay-at-home rules were extended.
The current lockdowns in Northern Ireland, Wales and England are the third of its kind on a national scale since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago.
Meanwhile. Scottish Parliament is set to unveil an lockdown exit roadmap for Scotland in the coming days.