23 Mar 2021

Reopening retail: When do non-essential shops reopen in the UK?

Across the four countries of the United Kingdom, non-essential retailers are preparing to reopen.

However, due to the decision of reopening being down to the devolved governments, the dates vary across the four nations. So, when will non-essential retailers be allowed to reopen by location?

In England, non-essential retail, along with hairdressers and other beauty services, will be allowed to reopen from Monday, April 12, 2021 - a decision announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of his exit from lockdown strategy.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that all non-essential retail would be able to reopen from Monday, April 26. However, from April 5, garden centres and homeware stores will be allowed to reopen, and previously prohibited click and collect services for all retailers will be allowed to resume.

In Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford lifted the ban on supermarkets selling non-essential goods on Monday, March 22, along with  reopening garden centres. 

As in England - if infection rates continue to fall - the rest of non-essential retail in Wales will reopen on Monday, April 12. 

An even more cautious approach is being applied in Northern Ireland where the stay at home message remains in place until April 1. Stormont announced its five-step strategy focussing on nine key areas - retail; hospitality; education and young people; work; culture, heritage and entertainment; sports and leisure; travel and tourism; worship and ceremonies; home and community.

There, from April 1 click and collect purchases will be allowed from garden centres and plant nurseries before being extended to all non-essential click-and-collect from April 12. Unlike the other UK nations, Northern Ireland said its lockdown exit would be driven by data, and as a result has not yet provided indicative dates of when non-essential shops can reopen. Reviews will be made ever four weeks after April 1.

Ready to reopen? Don't miss our simple guide for retailers

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