15 Jun 2021

Final stage of lockdown extended for at least another four weeks

The final lifting of coronavirus restrictions in England will be delayed for at least another four weeks, it has been announced.

The Government initially said all restrictions would be lifted on June 21, 2021, at the very earliest.

However, due to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases of the Delta varient, that date has now been pushed back for at least four more weeks - until July 19.

The announcement was made in a press conference last night, and will be particularly devastating for the hospitality and travel sectors currently only operating at greatly reduced capacity. In an interview with the Sunday Express last month, Bira CEO joined other heads of industry to ask the PM to stick to the June 21 date. More here

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre said: "The extension to the current regulations has not been a surprise but it is still a huge disappointment for the high street. Even more disappointing is the lack of support being offered as a consequence of these delays.

"Shops may be open but their markets are significantly disrupted and so these shops are in turn affected. Examples of this are bridal shops, fashion shops (selling ‘event’ outfits) and travel agents. The high street recovery is extremely fragile and a further four weeks of restrictions damages consumer confidence.

"The least the Government could do is ensure that those retailers still affected by restriction receive extra grants. Those retailers with rental debt must be protected and we need to reverse the decision to remove the reinsurance scheme protecting trade credit for retailers."

The new delay is said to be to allow more people to receive their coronavirus vaccines. Retailers are asked to play their part in the vaccination drive by helping provide reliable information about the scheme to staff and the wider community. Find out more about that here

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