Decisions on shops reopening should be based on safety – retail group

The Government must decide which shops to reopen based on safety rather than considering their size or mode of business, it has been reported.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson said she expects a “gradual lifting” of lockdown measures, with retail workers returning to their jobs some time after schools reopen.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation later on Sunday on his plans to gradually ease the lockdown.

He is expected to drop the “stay home” slogan and instead tell the country to “stay alert, control the virus and save lives” when he outlines his “road map” to a new normality.

Ms Dickinson told the BBC she expects the road map to include practical measures similar to her organisation’s guidance for staff and customer safety.

Coronavirus – Fri Apr 24, 2020
Coronavirus – Fri Apr 24, 2020

The guidance published last month includes limiting entry and exit points and using floor markings to outline social distancing.

Staggered shifts and restricting the number of people in shops are also actions the BRC suggested.

Ms Dickinson said on Sunday that such measures would “give us confidence as shoppers, members of the public, that we can go out to shop”.

It is anticipated that Mr Johnson’s road map will include garden centres being allowed to reopen to customers from Wednesday.

Nursery bosses will have to ensure shoppers obey social distancing measures, such as keeping two metres away from others, and will be expected to put restrictions in place, including queuing systems and installing Perspex shields to protect till staff.