Primark, M&S, New Look and Zara issue fresh rules for April 12

As we continue to move along the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown, many of us are now counting down the days until the next set of restriction easing comes into effect.

From April 12 at the earliest, non-essential retail will be welcoming shoppers back, as will hairdressers and other personal care sector businesses such as nail salons.

Part of the reopening of non-essential retail will see fitting rooms open once more, meaning you can try something on before you buy it, instead of hoping you’ve got the right size and having to go out again to return it to the shop if it’s not quite right.

This is all part of the second step of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, which sees not only non-essential shops and the personal care sector reopening, but outdoor hospitality, indoor leisure facilities, attractions such as zoos and theme parks, and some accommodation.

By taking an approach they have labelled as more ‘cautious’ than previous moves out of lockdowns, the Government is hopeful that this latest lockdown will be the last in the country’s fight against coronavirus.

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The new, more detailed, guidance on the reopening of non-essential retail which was published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) allows fitting rooms to reopen provided shops introduce measures to minimise transmission of the virus.

The guidance says: “The enclosed nature of fitting rooms may result in increased risk of transmission of Covid-19. They should therefore be carefully managed to reduce that risk.

“Retail businesses should update their risk assessments for each premises where fitting rooms are being used.”

While step two, from April 12 at the earliest, will see us able to meet friends and family outdoors, it’s not until May 17 at the earliest that we will be allowed to mix indoors.

No earlier than May 17, the Government will bring in step three along the roadmap out of lockdown, which sees people being able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30, as well as being able to meet indoors following the rule of six or two households.

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Pubs and restaurants will also be able to welcome back diners and drinkers indoors and by this point, most businesses in all but the highest risk sectors will reopen – including cinemas, children’s play areas, hotels, indoor exercise classes and to some extent, larger performances indoors.

Step four, the final step out of lockdown, is set to take place no earlier than June 21, and will hopefully see all restrictions lifted, and life return to something closer to normality.

A Government spokeswoman said: “We have set out our road map to reopen the economy and have recently published updated safer workplace guidance having worked closely with retailers, trade unions and medical experts so that businesses can reopen in a way that is as safe as possible for workers and customers.”

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