Shops to be allowed to reopen in three weeks says Prime Minister Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister said outdoor markets and car showrooms would be able to open from June 1 if they are safe to do so as he sought to deflect attention from the scandal engulfing the Government that his senior adviser and right-hand man, Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules by travelling 260 miles to Durham.
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.
Mr Johnson told the daily Downing Street press conference that the risk of transmission is lower in outdoor areas, where social distancing can be easier to enforce.
Earlier this month, garden centres were permitted to reopen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The Prime Minister said: "We will set out our formal assessment of the five tests that we set for adjusting the lockdown later this week as part of the three-weekly review we are legally required to undertake by Thursday.
"But because of the progress we are making I can, with confidence, put the British people on notice of the changes we intend to introduce as we move to step two."
The Prime Minister said he had been told about Dominic Cummings' decision to drive to Durham to isolate while he was himself ill and "had a lot on my plate".
"I didn't know about any of the arrangements in advance," Boris Johnson told the Downing Street press conference.
"What I think did happen was while I was ill and about to get a lot sicker we had a brief conversation in which I think Dominic Cummings mentioned where he was.
"But I have to tell you, at that particular stage I had a lot on my plate and really didn't focus on the matter until these stories started to emerge in the last few days."