Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all non-essential retailers will be able to reopen from June 15, the latest step in the journey to easing the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

The move to reopen, Boris says, is still "contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus," and shoppers will have to adhere to new guidelines to "protect shoppers and workers." In addition to non-essential shops being given the green light, outdoor markets and car showrooms will also be able reopen from June 1. 

The decision to ease restrictions has come after the number of coronavirus deaths in the UK fell to 121 in a single day, with the current death toll standing at 36,914. These are obviously still high numbers, but compared to previous figures, it's a drastic improvement.

Boris Johnson said that new guidelines had been published for the retail sector, "detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards." He adds that "shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen. This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take. I want people to be confident that they can shop safely, provided they follow the social distancing rules for all premises."

Speaking on the new developments, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "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."

Johnson's comments were also welcomed by the British Retail Consortium, who said that this provided "much-needed clarity on the route ahead."

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