NON-ESSENTIAL shops are allowed to open their doors again on Monday, as lockdown restrictions are eased.
After the weekend, step two of England's roadmap out of lockdown comes into force, and that means new rules allowing many businesses to reopen.
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Earlier this week the PM gave shops and other non-essential business the green light to reopen on April 12.
He said the vaccine rollout is to thank for getting Britain back on the road to recovery from the pandemic.
Mr Johnson also insisted he's confident further steps of his roadmap out of lockdown will be able to go ahead as planned.
That means the next major change we can look forward to after this weekend, will be on May 17 when indoor mixing will be allowed.
What four tests does the government need to pass before easing restrictions?
1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
4. Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.
On Monday, as well as the shops, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open but only for outdoor dining.
This means customers will have to wait the extra month before moving indoors with their pints, at step three.
Gyms are set to reopen from Monday too, but classes might not resume until the next step in May comes into force.
Hairdressers and Beauty Salons will open after the weekend, but you'll still have to wear a mask when you sit in the chair.
That's the same as piercers and tattoo parlous.
They might not offer any services for your face as the recommendations on the Gov.uk website still suggest face-to-face contact should be avoided, but they are opening up on Monday for other appointments.
Public buildings such as libraries and community centres are also opening with the new rules.
Also, indoor pools and leisure facilities are opening up too.
And most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in shows (like cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen.
Another rule coming into play is that shops will be allowed to stay open until 10pm from Monday to Saturday in a bid to spread out shoppers and avoid congestion.
The first step of the roadmap came into action on March 8 when schools reopened for all pupils.
Then on March 29, the “Rule of Six” also returned – allowing six people from up to six different households to mix outdoors.
The next step will hopefully take place on May 17, then the rest of the restrictions will be eased by June 21 at the earliest.
There's hope of normality by July, when every adult should have been offered a first dose of the coronavirus jab.
What are non-essential shops?
SHOPS described as non-essential by the government under lockdown rules include:
- Clothing shops
- Homeware shops
- Toy shops
- Vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
- Betting shops
- Tobacco and vape shops
- Electronic goods shops
- Mobile phone shops
- Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
- Market stalls selling non-essential goods
A twice-weekly free rapid Covid test is also now available to help in the continued easing of restrictions and give Brits the confidence to venture out again.
But the roadmap will depend on coronavirus infection rates and deaths.
These are falling while the number of people being vaccinated is rising each day.
The reopening of non-essential retail comes a week after the Easter weekend – a crucial trading period for shops.
Retail industry groups have previously expressed disappointment that this critical footfall in stores would be missed.
Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium welcomed the reopening plan but warned that some shops will never reopen.
BRC boss Helen Dickinson said: "The cost of lost sales to non-food stores during lockdown is now over £22billion and counting.
"Every day that a shop remains closed increases the chances that it will never open again – costing jobs and damaging local communities.”
Only essential shops have been allowed to open since January in the latest lockdown, including supermarkets and pharmacies.
Other retailers considered non-essential have been closed since the start of the year – but they have been allowed to offer click and collect services.
We round up the full list of businesses opening in the next lockdown roadmap stage.
Gyms reopening explained: here's what fitness fans should be aware of.
Meanwhile, working from home measures will remain in place until at least June.
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