Car dealerships will be allowed to reopen next Monday – April 12 – after the prime minister confirmed his road map to reopening was on plan.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the next stage of lockdown will lift in England next week, when non-essential shops, which includes car dealers, hairdressers and gyms can reopen, while pubs and restaurants can start serving customers outdoors.
He told the Downing Street press conference that he would be visiting a pub on April 12.
Boris Johnson said: ‘The net result of your efforts and of course the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday April 12, we will move to step two of our road map.
‘Reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services like hairdressers and of course beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.
‘And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips.’
Car dealerships have been closed for the entire third lockdown for walk-in customers and test drives, operating via click and collect only.
However, from Monday, they will revert back to reopening under the rules they operated under last summer.
This means customers will be allowed back into showrooms to look at new and used cars, but will need to wear a mask while visiting.
Test drives will be allowed once again, as they were before, likely to be unaccompanied and carried out by customers on their own.
Marshall Motor Group CEO Daksh Gupta has been counting down the days to reopening.
Tonight, he tweeted: ‘Roll on the 12th! @MarshallGroup look forward to welcoming our customers back to our operations.
‘However, we will remain cautious and ensure our Covid-19 secure guidelines are still strictly observed as this virus is still out there. 7 days!’
Car dealers will need to ensure their Covid Secure guidelines are updated in line with the latest legislation and ensure customers and staff comply with the rules.
Boris Johnson said the lockdown changes in England were ‘fully justified’, but urged the public not to be complacent.
The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press briefing: ‘We think that these changes are fully justified by the data, which shows that we are meeting our four tests for easing the lockdown.
‘But – and you know I’m going to say this – we can’t be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness afflicting other countries and we’ve seen how this story goes.
‘We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I’m afraid they will, and that’s why we’re saying please get your vaccine or your second dose when the turn comes.
‘And please use the free NHS tests even if you don’t feel ill.’
Anyone can now order a rapid coronavirus test whether they have symptoms or not, as the government aims to ramp up testing in line with the restrictions easing.
The lateral flow tests – which can provide results in around 30 minutes – will be available from Friday, regardless of whether people have symptoms.
People will be able to obtain a test through a home ordering service, workplace or school testing programme, or by collecting one at a local test site.
The PM said the scheme would help stop fresh outbreaks, enabling the authorities to identify and control new variants of the disease.
What opens on April 12?
From next Monday, the following will reopen or restart again:
- Non-essential shops, hairdressers and barbers can reopen
- Restaurants and pubs can start serving customers outdoors. People will have to eat and drink while seated
- Gyms and spas can reopen, so too can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
- Weddings with up to 15 people attending can take place
- The number of care home visitors allowed will increase to two per resident
- All children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity, including sport
- Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors
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