Yesterday the PM set out plans to reopen non-essential retail on 15 June, provided that the 5 key tests are met and that retailers follow the Covid-19 Secure” guidelines. Retailers now have three weeks to prepare. They must complete their risk assessment, in consultation with trade union reps or workers and be confident that identified risks are managed. They must also make sure they have taken the steps set out in government guidance to become COVID-19 Secure 

For retailers, the relevant guidance is “Working safely during Covid-19 in shops and branches”. This document was first published on 11 May but was updated on 25 May to reflect industry feedback and expand the categories included in the planned reopening. 

The 5 key tests remain: sufficient capacity in NHS, sustained & consistent fall in daily deaths, R remaining below 1, challenges of testing & PPE met, confident that adjustments will not risk a second peak that will overwhelm the NHS. 

Wayne Thomas, partner at Bates Weston,  comments; 

There is much to do in this three week period, but many lessons can be drawn from the experience of retailers who have remained open and traded responsibly throughout the pandemic. The guidance aims to make shops safe and secure for everyone, both staff and customers and represents a further step to reawakening high streets and communities. 

Adopting safe operating methods will have cost impacts and we stand ready to help our clients assess this and consider cashflow impacts particularly in the light of changes to the CJRS scheme post July.”