All non-essential retailers will be able to reopen stores in England from June 15 as long as they have social distancing measures in place, according to the latest government announcement.

In a statement yesterday evening, prime minister Boris Johnson said that open-air markets and car showrooms would be allowed to open from June 1, and that all other non-essential retailers could open from June 15.

However, he said the move would be “contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus” and retailers would have to adhere to new guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.

Johnson also said new guidance had been published for the retail sector “detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards”.

“Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen,” he added.

Chief executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson welcomed the announcement and said it gave the sector “much needed clarity”.

“We welcome the announcement of the government’s roadmap for reopening a broader range of shops next month, which provides much needed clarity on the route ahead. Safety is the fundamental concern for all retailers and they have been working hard to implement the necessary measures to operate safely over the past weeks.

“Now that we know which shops can open and when, retailers can begin communicating their plans with their workforces and customers. The industry stands ready to play its part in getting the economy moving again.”

Working towards this date, a £50m fund for local councils to support their high streets was unveiled over the weekend by high streets minister Simon Clarke. 

The ‘reopening high streets safely fund’ will ”help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops” and will also help pay for signage, street markings and barriers.