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Supporting shops to reopen in Lewisham

Hundreds of shops that have been under lockdown in Lewisham for the past months will be celebrating after being advised that they can reopen from Monday 15 June.

A bookshop in LewishamShops and shopping centres across the borough are set to reopen this month once they are COVID-19 secure and can show customers will be kept safe.

The Borough’s outdoor markets and car showrooms already reopened on Monday 1 June, if they were able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. The risk of transmission of the virus is lower in these outdoor and more open spaces.

All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, all furniture stores, books, and electronics, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June.

Councillor Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Culture, Jobs and Skills (job share), said:

“This is great news for businesses in Lewisham, who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Re-opening will help many local businesses get back on their feet; but it must be done in a way which is safe both for workers and for customers.

“Lewisham Council is committed to supporting local small businesses during these tough times. In the last 10 weeks, we’ve distributed over £36 million in grants to local small businesses. We will continue to work with local employers so that we can build back better after this crisis.”

Lewisham Council officers will be checking that safe systems are in place and supporting businesses to achieve this.

Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.

Government advises that should demonstrate compliance by:

  • placing a poster in their windows to demonstrate awareness of the guidance and commitment to safety measures
  • storing returned items for 72 hours before putting them back out on the shop floor
  • 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, coffee machines and betting terminals.

Hairdressers, nail bars, tattoo parlours and beauty salons, and the hospitality sector, will have to remain closed for the time being, because the risk of transmission in these environments is higher where long periods of person to person contact is required.

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