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Boris Johnson speaking at the press conference on May 25. Image via

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Outdoor markets will be able to reopen from June 1 while auction houses, galleries, shops and indoor markets should be able to reopen from June 15 if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the new ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced the plan at the latest Downing Street briefing on May 25.

In a statement the government said businesses “must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation” in order to reopen.

“Spot checks”

The government said it will publish updated COVID-secure guidelines and will work with local authorities “to carry out spot checks and follow up on concerns by members of the public”.

The guidance from government on working safely during coronavirus for people who run shops and auction houses has been published on the website. 

The prime minister's statement on the timeline for retail re-openings is also on the government website. 

The devolved nations within the UK are taking different approaches to the Covid-19 with many elements of the lockdwon remaining in place for auctioneers and dealers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.