Government to confirm reopening of non-essential retail

The government is today (23 November) set to confirm that all non-essential retail in England will be permitted to reopen next week, following a four-week lockdown over November. 

According to Sky News, Boris Johnson is set to make an announcement later this afternoon, where he is expected to lay out England’s return to a three tier system when lockdown ends on 2 December.

It comes as the prime minister is expected to outline his ‘Covid Winter Plan’, which will reportedly include tougher new restrictions in England, but a “break of up to five days for Christmas”.

The move is expected to stave off a Commons revolt by rebel Conservative MPs. 

As well as the reopening of gyms and shops, the prime minister is expected to announce a relaxation to the 10pm closing time for pubs and restaurants, as well as the introduction of mass testing in all tier three areas.

It comes as Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, recently said: “The most important issue is to ensure all shops can reopen from the start of December as the all-important Christmas shopping period gets into full swing. Retailers have spent hundreds of millions on safety measures to protect colleagues and customers, and they stand prepared for reopening.”

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