Non-essential retailers will be allowed to resume trading in Leicester – but shoppers are being advised to “take a common sense approach”.
Local lockdown rules have meant that non-essential shops have been closed since the restrictions were announced on June 29.
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced non-essential retail in some areas could reopen from Friday, July 24.
This will be subject to targeted measures and Covid secure guidance, while people are being asked not to travel solely for non-essential shopping, reports MirrorOnline.
Travel rules – allowing only essential journeys within the city – remain in place, causing confusion about who can go to the shops with citizens accusing the government of spreading mixed messages.
When asked to clarify, a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson said: “The guidance remains to stay at home as far as possible, to help further bring down the high infection rates in Leicester.
“As the situation has improved, some non-essential retailers are allowed to choose to open for business, subject to targeted measures and Covid secure guidance.
“Our guidance means people should not travel solely for non-essential shopping.”
When asked how Leicestershire Police will enforce the new guidance, a spokesperson said: “We continue to encourage all residents within the protected area to follow the Health Protection Regulations.
“If you are in the protected area, you should only travel if essential, you wash your hands regularly, maintain two metres social distance from others and get tested if you do have any symptoms.
“We are asking the public to take a common-sense approach. As we have previously said, this is about our lives and our livelihoods and we all need to continue working together in order to stay safe together.
“Our officers will continue to be in the area to engage, explain and encourage in relation to the regulations, only taking enforcement action if necessary.”
Wearing a mask or face-covering in shops and supermarkets will also become mandatory in England on Friday.
Shoppers will have to wear a covering before they enter a shop, and refusal means police have the power to issue a fine of £100 – halved to £50 if it is paid within 14 days.