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Car showrooms to reopen on 1 June

Date: 26 May 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

Some non-essential retail, including vehicle showrooms, will be allowed to reopen on Monday 1 June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in Monday's briefing.

Car showrooms and outdoor markets will be allowed to reopen, as these usually have sufficient outdoor space to make social distancing relatively easy. The premises will have to be made 'covid-secure'.

The SMMT estimated last week that keeping automotive retailers shut is costing the government £61m per day in lost taxes in furlough funding and lost tax income.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, commented: "Allowing dealers to get back to business will help stimulate consumer confidence and unlock recovery of the wider industry, boosting tax revenue and reducing the burden on government spending. Unlike many other retail sectors, car sales act as the engine for manufacturing and reopening showrooms is an easy and relatively safe next step to help get the economy restarted."

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), commented: "Following our lobbying efforts where we highlighted it was vital to include dealerships in the first wave of non-essential retail reopening, it is positive that the Prime Minister has confirmed the Government intends to reopen car showrooms from 1 June.

"NFDA has worked closely with SMMT to produce guidelines for retailers in line with the Government's recommendations. Retailers have been working hard to put all necessary measures in place to ensure social distancing can be observed."