Clothes and homeware shops can open from June

More shuttered stores in the main street will reopen from June under new plans for England set by the government.

Stores currently considered “non-essential”, such as fashion or homeware stores, could open from the beginning of June, the government said.

However, other companies such as pubs, hairdressers and cinemas will have to wait until July before they can open again.

In documents, the government said, “All other sectors currently closed, including catering and personal care, cannot reopen at this time because the risk of transmission in these environments is greater.”

It added: “Some locations that are busy in design and where it may prove difficult to distance may still not be safe to reopen at this point or may only be partially safe to open.

“Nevertheless, the government will want to open as many businesses and public places as the data and information allow at the time.”

Currently, only essential stores, such as supermarkets, pharmacies and bicycle shops, may remain open during the coronavirus lock.

Garden centers may also open again from Wednesday, the government confirms on a separate document.

From June 1, non-essential retailers could be reopened to the public once they meet Covid-19’s new safety and security guidelines.

The plans state that stores will be reopened in stages, and politicians will provide further guidance on which businesses will be included at each stage and timeframe.

Other sectors remain closed in June, although it has been added that cultural and sporting events can be broadcast behind closed doors and that “large-scale social contact” is avoided.

The government said it has the ambition to open some of the remaining companies at the earliest on July 4.

It said it hopes that hairdressers, pubs, hotels, restaurants and movie theaters will be one of the following companies to reopen as part of this expansion.

These companies will also have to comply with the Covid-19 safety guidelines, although it adds that some overcrowded sites may still not reopen or only partially reopen at this stage.

The government said it will also phase and test the reopening of risky companies at this stage.

Ministers added that they will closely monitor how high-risk sectors have reopened elsewhere in the world and will set up task forces for these industries.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), called for more details on the timing of reopenings.

She said, “Retailers urgently need clarity in the rules about when and how they can open – details that are still missing.

“Safety should be paramount in these decisions, not the size or type of store.

“The BRC has partnered with Usdaw to develop social distance counseling for stores that are preparing to reopen, learning from the experiences of thousands of supermarkets and other key retailers who have successfully done this since closing.”