The CEO of The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) Andrew Goodacre has said many independent retailers are ready to reopen now, having already worked hard to put measures in place to keep both customers and staff safe.
The news comes as non-essential retailers will be allowed to reopen from Monday, June 15, according to the government.
Boris Johnson said that car showrooms and street markets would be able to open from next week, followed by other retailers a fortnight later in the next phase of restriction lifting.
However, Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said many independent retailers are ready to reopen now.
He said: “Independent retailers have been preparing to re-open since the idea of opening as of 1 June was first mentioned. Many retailers have measures in place that will keep both employees and customers safe.
“It is therefore a little disappointing for the smaller retailers not to be able to open until June 15, especially as they can make it safe to do so.”
Goodacre is now calling on local authorities to prepare public spaces for the reopening of high streets and town centres.
He added: “We really hope that this extended closure period will be used to good effect by local authorities to ensure that the high streets and public spaces can be adjusted to allow for social distancing whilst shopping with the prospect of multiple queues.”