Furniture stores to re-open in April, indicates Government roadmap
The Prime Minister has announced his roadmap to ease Covid-19 restrictions across England.
All stores – including stores classified as “non-essential” – may be open from Monday, April 12th, provided different conditions are met: the vaccination program is going according to plan; The vaccine lowers the death rate and hospital stay sufficiently. There is no increase in hospital admissions. and no new variants fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions.
The current aim is for all restrictions to be lifted by June 21 at the earliest. The government plans to hold pilot events, including working conferences, starting in April to explain its approach to dealing with large groups well in advance of the summer.
In response to the Prime Minister’s plan, Helen Dickinson OBE, Executive Director of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s additional clarity. While we are encouraged by a plan to reopen non-essential stores, the powerful impact of the pandemic means some may never be able to. The cost of lost sales to non-food stores during lockdown is now over £ 22 billion. Every day a business is closed increases the likelihood that it will never open again – which costs jobs and harms local communities.
“Non-essential stores are ready to reopen and have invested hundreds of millions to become Covid-proof. The government should remain flexible and allow non-essential retail stores to reopen once the data suggests it is safe to do so. Until that is allowed, retailers will continue to need government support. We welcome the Prime Minister’s call not to pull the carpet out of business. To do this, the government needs to act on three key issues: rents, interest rates and grants.
“In order to avoid further job losses and permanent job closings, the Chancellor must announce a targeted relief for corporate rates from April, extend the moratorium on debt enforcement and lift the upper limits for state aid for corporate grants from Covid. This would relieve the troubled companies from bills they currently cannot pay and allow them to find their way to recovery. “
Further details are expected in the Chancellor’s spring budget, due on March 3rd. The Financial Times reported that annual vacation rates for retail, hospitality and recreation are likely to be extended, while vacation programs can be extended into summer.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will shortly be making their own plans.