English stores, salons will be able to open after current lockdown
Non-essential stores in England will be breathing a sigh of relief on Monday as news comes in an official announcement that they will be allowed to open in all areas when the country’s lockdown ends on December 2.
There had been talk in recent days of toughening the three-tier restrictions when the lockdown ends, which had raised concerns that shops might have to completely write off the Christmas shopping season, at least as far as their physical outlets were concerned.
Beauty salons and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen as well. However, the lockdowns this year have already taken their toll on this sector with anecdotal evidence of many independent salons having closed. In making the announcement, the prime minister apologised for the hardship caused to business by coronavirus control measures.
Importantly too, gyms and pubs/restaurants will be permitted to open, which should boost activewear sales, as well as clothing for socialising.
The occasionwear market has been severely dented this year and given that the festive season is key for party looks, it's to be hoped that there will be a December rush to buy such styles. The fact that families are to be allowed to socialise for a brief window during Christmas week should also provide a lift for the fashion sector.
But will non-essential retail face further lockdowns next year? The UK government is trying to avoid that with a new mass testing programme allied with its tier system. Given the failures of the much-talked-about official test and trace system, the government is introducing rapid mass testing in all areas covered by the highest tier in order to avoid the need for further full lockdowns. It won't be known until Thursday which areas will be in which tier.
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