Georgia Young | 01 Jun 2020

Reopening the economy starts with markets and car showrooms

A car showroom

From 1 June 2020, outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to open as long as adequate health and safety precautions are in place. These measures have been outlined by the Health and Safety Executive, alongside a collection of representative bodies that have provided tailored advice to suit individual sectors.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has welcomed the gentle easing of lockdown measures by producing its own guidance for employers. As the sector prepares for increased demand and therefore manufacturing lines reopening the Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said:

‘The coronavirus crisis has taken a heavy toll on the automotive industry but, as lockdown measures begin to ease, at last there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Global markets are starting to open up and overseas demand for UK-built vehicles, engines and components will follow. However, to accelerate this crucial sector’s recovery we need all parts of the jigsaw to be in place, starting with the reopening of automotive showrooms to drive essential market demand.’

The optimism for market demand stems from employees being asked to travel to work by driving, walking or cycling in a bid to minimise the use of crowded public transport.

The British Independent Retail Association (BIRA) also welcomes the move from Government to ease lockdown restrictions and has provided other resources to help business owners with these unusual circumstances. These include:

  • Placing a poster in the window to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures,
  • Storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shopfloor,
  • Placing protective coverings on large items touched by the public such as beds or sofas,
  • Frequent cleaning of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including self-checkouts, trolleys and coffee machines.

All other non-essential retail can re-open from 15 June, as long as the rate of infection remains low enough to do so.

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