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Shops: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 53639, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that shops are supported to implement social distancing measures in advance of opening as covid-19 lockdown measures are eased.

Answered on

10 June 2020

As you are aware, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister confirmed on 25 May that retail shops (including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, books and electronics) will begin to reopen more widely from 15 June, subject to progress against the five tests and only where the business is able to follow the safer working guidance.

The Government has updated the guidance on working safely in shops and branches to allow venues to prepare. The updated guidance takes into account the best practice demonstrated by the many retailers which have been allowed to remain open and have applied social distancing measures in store.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy chaired a taskforce meeting involving businesses, business representative organisations and unions. In addition, a questionnaire was issued to approximately 60 businesses covering the retail outlets captured by the updated guidance.

The guidance on safer working has been welcomed and many sectors appreciate the joint work between government, business and trade unions.