Car dealerships will be allowed to reopen in England on June 1 the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed this evening at the Downing Street press briefing.
Car dealers have been waiting with bated breath to see whether they will be allowed to reopen alongside non-essential retail on June 1 – and now that has been confirmed.
The PM said car showrooms will be able to reopen if they can meet the Covid-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.
Daksh Gupta, CEO of Marshall Motor Holdings, told Car Dealer Magazine: ‘We are back!’
In a statement to the Stock Market on Tuesday he added: ‘We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement that car showrooms will be permitted to reopen from 1 June.
‘We have been working on our detailed reactivation plans for a number of weeks with the safety and security of our colleagues and customers at the heart of those plans.
We are confident that, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s announcement, our businesses are Covid-19 secure and we look forward to re-opening our businesses from 1 June.’
[PM on dealers reopening, 1:05 video]
Johnson said all other shops will be expected to be able to reopen from June 15.
He said: ‘We will set out our formal assessment of the five tests that we set for adjusting the lockdown later this week as part of the three-weekly review we are legally required to undertake by Thursday.
‘But because of the progress we are making I can, with confidence, put the British people on notice of the changes we intend to introduce as we move to step two.’
Sean Kelly, managing director of Vines BMW, was delighted at the news.
He told Car Dealer Magazine: ‘It’s clearly a very welcome decision, car dealers are well able to serve customers safely and many showrooms are already compliant with social distancing requirements.
‘It’s also a big boost to UK Plc as we can help Britain back to work and create quick high income for HMRC from VAT and VED duties.’
From June 1, outdoor markets will also be allowed to resume if they can do so safely.
The PM added: ‘We know that the transmission of the virus is lower outdoors and that it is easier to follow Covid secure guidelines in open spaces.’
From June 15, ‘all other non-essential retail’ will be allowed to reopen, contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus and if the businesses are ‘covid secure’.
The Prime Minister said new guidance was being 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 said. ‘This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.’
Boris Johnson said the authorities would ‘have the powers we need to enforce compliance where that is required’.
He added: ‘I want people to be confident that they can shop safely provided they follow the social distancing rules for all premises.’
Chief executive Mike Hawes of the SMMT said on Twitter: ‘Welcome news: PM confirms car showrooms to open from 1 June.
‘As our campaign said, will help manufacturing, retail and the Exchequer and can be done whilst ensuring safety of customers, staff and other visitors. Need to get the economy moving again.’
Great to hear Government has listened. 1 June reopening for UK’s car showrooms – a sensible, safe next step to unlocking UK’s vital auto industry to help Britain get back to business #unlockukauto
— SMMT (@SMMT) May 25, 2020
Responding to the announcement that retailers will be able to begin reopening next month, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: ‘We welcome the announcement of the government’s road map 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.’
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