// PM Boris Johnson confirms April 12 as lockdown exit date for non-essential retail in England
// Other businesses will be allowed to reopen on April 12 as well, namely gyms & outdoor hospitality
// Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own, separate lockdown exit plans
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that non-essential shops, as well as hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality, can reopen from April 12 in England.
Johnson, setting out the move to the second step of the lockdown exit road map yesterday, said the shift was “fully justified by the data” due to the success of the vaccine rollout and drop in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations.
He also said he had seen “nothing” to make him think he would have to “deviate” from his intention to scrap all restrictions by June 21 at the earliest.
- The state of UK retail one year after the first lockdown
- Scotland updates lockdown exit plan – some non-essential shops to reopen April 5
- Calls for “indicative dates” for Northern Ireland lockdown exit
Stage two of lockdown easing will see some businesses in England allowed to reopen for the first time in three months from next week, including non-essential shops, hairdressers and nail salons, gyms, while bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outdoors – but groups will be limited to two households or by the rule of six.
Self-contained accommodation including campsites and holiday lets will be permitted to receive guests, and independent or household visits to libraries, community centres, zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas will also be allowed.
Johnson warned that Brits “cannot be complacent” amid warnings from scientists of another surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations once social mixings would be allowed again from May onwards.
Wales is also expected to reopen non-essential shops from April 12, although outdoor hospitality won’t be able to reopen until April 26 and other gyms will have to wait until May 10.
Meanwhile, Scotland started to reopen some non-essential high street businesses yesterday, such as garden centres, homeware stores and hairdressers, as part of its lockdown easing measures.
However, most non-essential retail in the country will not reopen until April 26.
Northern Ireland is the only home country to have not set out reopening targets, with its Executive stating it would make decisions driven by Covid-19 infection data – not dates.