Boutiques can re-open on Monday 15 June following almost three months of coronavirus-imposed closures

Fashion indies across the UK are preparing to re-open on Monday 15 June following yesterday’s announcement from Boris Johnson. Non-essential retailers were forced to close on March 23 following the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to open first, providing they are “COVID secure.” Meanwhile, all other non-essential retailers will continue trade in just over two weeks’ time.

“We know that the transmission of the virus is lower outdoors and that is easier to following COVID secure guidelines in open spaces,” said the Prime Minister.  “That means that we can allow outdoor markets to re-open in a safe way without risking a second wave. Then from the 15 June we intend to allow all other non-essential retailers, ranging from department stores to small independent shops, to re-open. Again, this change will be contingent upon progress against the five tests. And it will only be permitted among those retail premises that are COVID secure.”

What is COVID-secure?

The government has published new guidance for the retail sector detailing measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards. “Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they re-open. This will ensure that there is no doubt about the next steps they must take,” Johnson said. He added that while the majority of business owners will want to keep staff and customers safe, the government will have the power to enforce compliance if required. “I want people to feel that they can shop safely providing they follow the social distancing rules for all premises.”

Retailers can download a PDF version of the 33-page guidance document when preparing to re-open. It details safety advice for areas such as social distancing as well as managing customers and risk. There’s also information on cleaning the workplace, PPE and face coverings as well as inbound and outbound goods.

Boutique magazine will print a comprehensive breakdown of the guidelines in its June issue, which launches on Monday 8 June.