Business Secretary Alok Sharma’s update for Retail, Hair & Beauty

by | Jun 10, 2020

Yesterday Tuesday 9 June, Business Secretary Alok Sharma delivered the daily press briefing on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This important update included the reconfirmation that some non-essential retailers will reopen on June 15, but quashed rumours regarding the Hair & Beauty industry reopening sooner than 4 July at the earliest.

The Business Secretary announced:

“I can confirm today that retail outlets which have been required to be closed, will be able to open their doors again from Monday 15 June so long as they comply with the COVID-secure guidelines we published on 25 May. This is the latest step in the careful restarting of our economy and will enable high streets up and down the country to spring back to life.”

He also highlighted:

“To support [the cautious reopening], on 25 May, my department published updated COVID-secure Safer Working guidance for people who work in or run shops or branches in the retail sector. This has given retail businesses enough time to make sure their premises are COVID-secure, and this will allow workers to return safely back to stores, and welcome back shoppers on Monday.

Alok Sharma went on to stress that non-essential stores should only re-open once they are able to follow the COVID-secure guidelines, giving confidence to both their staff and customers that they are opening safely. This means any business that is open must complete a COVID-19 specific risk assessment and is legally obliged to take the necessary steps to manage those risks.

He emphasised that the Government has provided a notice that retail businesses should visibly display in their windows or outside their premises door to demonstrate to their customers that they have read and taken steps to follow this essential guidance.

“If a shop reopens without putting in place responsible steps to reduce the transmission of the virus, we can take a range of actions, including issuing enforcement notices. Local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive regularly carry out checks and respond to concerns from the public regarding risks in the workplace.” – Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

In Response to Rumours
There has much speculation regarding the Hair & Beauty industry reopening, with rumours circulating that there are plans to reopen these businesses sooner than the previously mentioned earliest date of 4 July. Alok Sharma was keen to stress that these are no more than rumours and highlighted the future publication of official guidelines to support the industry’s reopening:

“As soon as we can, we will publish further safer working guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars, as well as hairdressers, barbers, nail bars and related services. These documents will provide practical steps to allow those businesses to re-open in a manner that is as safe as possible for workers and their customers.
I know there has been a lot of speculation about when we might be able to reopen these parts of the economy and I completely understand why we are all so keen to get them back up and running – I absolutely share your enthusiasm. But we continue to follow the roadmap, which sets out our ambition to reopen these sectors from 4 July at the earliest.

He concluded that as of the week commencing 8 June, he is leading five new ‘recovery roundtables’ bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics. The roundtables will look at measures to support economic recovery and ensure the right skills and opportunities for workforces are in place.

For the full recording of the press briefing and transcript, head here.

As always, we’ll continue to provide ongoing updates on Beauty Bytes and all our social channels.

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