Burnham-On-Sea town centre

Non-essential shops in Burnham-On-Sea will be able to reopen from 15th June after Boris Johnson last night announced a further easing of the Coronavirus lockdown across England.

The Prime Minister said outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to begin trading again from 1st June – so long as they keep customers safe.

And all other non-essential retailers – including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets – can follow suit from 15th June.

The Government says employers will face “spot checks” to make sure they are implementing social distancing, and have been told they must complete a risk assessment.

A Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade spokesperson described the news as “a very welcome step towards getting our town centre re-opened again, with proper controls in place to ensure the safety of staff and shoppers.”

Firms have been told to consider a number of measures to reassure customers and staff, including:

  • Placing posters in windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance
  • Storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor
  • Placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas
  • Frequently cleaning objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys, coffee machines and betting terminals

Mr Johnson announced the next steps in his plan to “unlock the lockdown” during Monday’s Downing Street news briefing, nine weeks since the initial “stay at home” measures began.

Boris Johnson

Mr Johnson cautioned that the move is “contingent on progress in the fight against Coronavirus”, and retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.

He added: “Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen. I want people to be confident that they can shop safely, provided they follow the social distancing rules for all premises.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The high street sits at the heart of every community in the country.”

“Enabling these businesses to open will be a critical step on the road to rebuilding our economy, and will support millions of jobs across the UK.”

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