Non-essential shops to reopen in June
Prime minister Boris Johnson has said that all non-essential shops in England will be able to reopen from June 15 if they are able to comply with official Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Starting from June 1, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen their doors.
Some retail experts have said that more clarity is needed on the new social distancing and hygiene requirements required to allow shops to reopen, such as how many people may be allowed to enter shops at a time.
Meanwhile, the PM has warned that the plans are conditional and depend not only on premises being able to meet the requirements, but also the country’s wider progress through the pandemic and ability to meet the five tests for easing the lockdown.
Elsewhere, primary schools in England have been told that a phased reopening will be triggered from the beginning of June, with pupils in Reception, Year One and Year Six the first to return.
From June 15, around a quarter of Year 10 and Year 12 pupils will be allowed “some contact” in school and sixth form to aid their preparation for key exams next year.
In the background, a furore continues over the conduct of the PM’s senior aide, Dominic Cummings, who has been accused of breaking lockdown restrictions that he himself had helped to create, after driving 260 miles from his London home to County Durham in March with his wife and child, the former of which was suffering from coronavirus symptoms at the time.
Addressing his actions in a press conference, Cummings said that he had made the trip - just 15 days after he had displayed Covid-19 symptoms himself - as a means of testing his eyesight, having suffered visual impairment during his illness.
The Labour party has already been vocal in its calls for Cummings to resign or be sacked, and its leader Sir Keir Starmer is due to meet with other opposition MPs this week to discuss holding Cummings and the prime minister to account, after Cummings refused to apologise for his actions and the PM threw his backing behind his adviser.
The government announced on Monday that the number of UK deaths linked to Covid-19 has now reached 36,914.