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Britain's embattled high streets can spring back to life from Monday as the Government tonight gave the final go-ahead for shops to reopen

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Britain's embattled high streets can spring back to life from Monday as the Government tonight gave the final go-ahead for shops to reopen. 

Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed that all non-essential retailers will be allowed to lift their shutters on June 15 as expected, but has refused to budge from the two metre social distancing rule businesses are saying is killing the recovery.

The Government has been under increasing pressure to slash the two metre social distancing rule to deliver a boost to reopening pubs and restaurants.

Currently, France, Denmark and China all use a one metre rule, while Germany, Australia and the Netherlands all use 1.5 metres. 

But Mr Sharma has not bowed to calls to reduce the measure, despite dire warnings from pub chiefs who said if the two metre rule remains in place then two thirds are likely to remain shut.

Despite the lack of movement on social distancing rules, the Government thinks the announcement  will provide a lifeline for businesses and workers who have taken a battering from the effects of coronavirus.  

And it will also provide a relief for weary consumers who have been stuck at home for months.  

Making the announcement at tonight's Downing Street press conference Mr Sharma said: 'This is the latest step in the careful restarting of our economy and will enable high streets up and down the country to spring back to life.'

But he dashed the hopes of thirsty pub-goers hoping that their favourite boozer might re-open ahead of schedule, saying they are still on course to open in July at the earliest. 

Business Secretary Alok Sharma confirmed that all non-essential retailers will be allowed to lift their shutters on June 15 as expected

'Of course, there are businesses which still remain closed.

As soon as we can we will publish further safer working guidance for restaurants, pubs and bars, as well as hairdressers, barbers, nail bars and related services,' he added.

'I know there's been a lot of speculation about when we might be able to reopen these parts of the economy and I completely understand why we're all so keen to get them back up and running, and I absolutely share that enthusiasm.

'But we continue to follow the road map which set out our ambition to reopen these sectors from July 4 at the earliest.'



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