No pre-Easter lockdown exit for non-essential English stores, April 12 is big day
The vaccination programme may be dealing with many millions of people every week and the spread of the virus may be sharply down, but it seems there’s no good news on the reopening of non-essential stores any time soon.
The government’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown says that non-essential stores won't be able to reopen until April 12, along with other services such as hairdressers.
It's a major blow for shops in fashion, beauty and many other sectors that had hoped they could be open by Easter (which happens in early April this year).
Hopes had been particularly high given that consumers seem much more ready to return to physical shops than they were when the first lockdown ended last June. Back then, ongoing fears about the virus kept many people shopping online.
But this time, the vaccination programme seems to have been creating more enthusiasm for shopping. Recent footfall figures suggest that lockdown fatigue is already driving people back to physical shops. And surveys also suggest that there’s plenty of pent-up interest in shopping.
Pubs and restaurants are not opening for indoor service until May 17, which also means that opportunities for socialising (and the need to buy new clothes for socialising) will be limited. And with 'normal service' for weddings having to wait until late June, it means the bridal sector will remain challenged for now too.
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