Bookshops in England may reopen on 15 June

News - Bookselling Tuesday, 26th May 2020

Retailers will have to meet government guidelines

Non-essential retailers in England such as bookshops may reopen on 15 June, but must meet government guidelines, the prime minister announced yesterday.

The guidelines include defining the number of customers who can reasonably follow 2m social distancing within the store; encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser; discouraging customers from handling products for browsing only; and managing outside queues.

Waterstones has told staff that it is "confident" that it will be "robust in our readiness". Among the chain's initiatives are hand-sanitising stations, POS advising customers of protocols, PPE including face masks and gloves, and till screens. But many independents believe that, owing to the layouts of their stores, they are unlikely to be able to offer proper protection to their customers and staff.

It is thought that lockdown restrictions in Scotland may ease from Friday (29 May), and that the Welsh government and Northern Ireland executive will make similar announcements soon.

Shops and branches - working safely during coronavirus (