Shops in Wales can reopen from Monday while most shops in Scotland are to reopen from 29th June as lockdown rules are eased.
Retailers in Wales have been given the go ahead to welcome back customers from Monday, as long as physical distancing can take place, as part of the devolved government’s cautious easing of lockdown restrictions. The guidance that people should not travel more than five miles has not been relaxed, however, although the requirement to stay local is set to be reviewed by the 6th July.
Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething has cautioned that there must not be a repeat of scenes in England where crowds of people were pictured standing close together outside stores, “in complete breach of what social distancing guidance is supposed to deliver. I don’t want to see workers put at risk, I don’t want to see shoppers put at risk.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has laid out the next stage of the country’s lockdown easing measures, marking the second phase of the four-phase route map set out as a way to continue suppressing the virus.
Shops of all sizes will be allowed to reopen from 29th June, as long as they as they have outdoor entrances and exits. This is very similar to the approach adopted in Ireland, and means stores in shopping malls will remain closed for the time being, with the exception of essential retailers such as supermarkets and pharmacies. Indoor workplaces such as factories, laboratories and warehouses will also start to reopen from 29th June, subject to strict physical distancing and hygiene rules.
Scotland has adopted a more cautious approach to lockdown easing than England, where non-essential retailers were allowed to open on Monday 15th. Shoppers have been urged to continue adhering to social distancing when shops reopen, and retailers are being asked to begin planning how they will reopen their stores safely.
In a statement, Nicola commented: “Of course, all of us as customers have a role to play. When shops do re-open, I ask everyone to exercise patience, stick to the measures that are in place for your safety, and at all times please respect retail staff who will be asking you to shop in a different way.”