In a briefing on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said outdoor markets and car showrooms would be able to open from June 1 if they are safe to do so.
And all other non-essential retailers – such as those selling clothes and books – will be allowed to open from June 15, provided the guidelines are met along with the Government’s five tests for easing the lockdown.
Bradford BID manager Jonny Noble said city centre businesses have been “hit hard” by the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Shops will be relieved that they now have a degree of certainty as to when they will have the chance to get back to some kind of normality,” he said.
“Providing the Government’s five tests are met, non-essential retailers will have about three weeks to prepare for the new ways of operating that we all face and are set out in the new guidelines, which can be accessed through the BID website alongside lots of other advice as to how to use them.
“The supermarkets, food retailers and pharmacies that have been open throughout have set the example to follow but have also enabled the guidelines to be improved and adapted for those who may soon follow.”
He added: “It’s really important that retailers carry out proper risk assessments, take all necessary steps to ensure they are Covid-19 secure and only open if they can be sure it will be safe for both staff and customers. The Government has put in place tough measures to tackle those who don’t but we are confident that Bradford shop-owners will act responsibly and do everything they can to provide the right protection because the livelihoods of so many people – not least their own – depend on it.”
He added that the BID will be doing “everything in its power” to help businesses get back on their feet, encourage shoppers to come back to the city centre and support them in the new environment.
Last week, The Broadway unveiled a suite of measures it had put in place to adapt to the ‘new normal’. On the latest announcement, General Manager Ian Ward said it was a “positive step forward for shopping centres and retailers returning to some level of business normality, albeit a new normality”.
He added: “Ahead of opening for essential retailers we have already implemented a raft of new measures as part of our Covid-19 response to ensure customers and staff can comply with social distancing and use the centre safely in these unprecedented times. As we transition to the next stage, we are working closely with our retailers and adhering to the government’s guidance to introduce even more measures that will ensure people can shop safely.
“This is a continuously evolving process that we are reviewing on a daily basis but The Broadway will be in a strong position to welcome more shoppers back to the centre safely on June 15.”
Catherine Riley, Centre Manager at the Kirkgate Shopping Centre, added: “We are working closely with all our retailers on their detailed plans for safe reopening in line with government guidelines. We look forward to welcoming our loyal customers back to Kirkgate.”