Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Introduction: Restrictions on retailers and hospitality relaxed
- Non-essential shops reopen in England and Wales after almost four-month lockdown
- Pubs and restaurants can serve customers outdoors
My colleague Sarah Butler has braced the cold and snow on London’s Oxford Street as retailers reopen their doors.
She reports that there’s quite a queue outside the JD Sports store this morning, as shoppers flock to buy its sportswear clothes and trainers.
Almost a scrum outside JD on Oxford St as you people queue for over an hour to get sought after trainers to trade online.. pic.twitter.com/bi3CeKWB5a
By far the busiest spot on a snowy(!) Oxford St as non essential shops reopen pic.twitter.com/9rXw2pPkSc
Small businesses are also hoping that business activity will rebound as lockdown restrictions are eased…. but some also fear that they’ll be forced to lay off staff.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says its small business confidence guage has hit its highest level since autumn 2014.
“It’s fantastic that our shops, hairdressers and gyms can get back to doing what they do best all over England from today, with some restrictions easing in other parts of the UK as well.
“The certainty provided by the Government’s road map is filling many small business owners with renewed confidence. We live in hope that the virus stays in retreat so the remaining indicative dates for unlocking can be met, enabling our vital night-time economies, offices and travel and tourism businesses to get back to it as well.