"Because of the progress we are making, I can with confidence, put the British people on notice of the changes we intent to introduce."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday laid out a roadmap for a gradual reopening for thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centers starting next month.
A day after announcing some young students may begin returning to school June 1, Johnson made the comments about retail to give businesses time to prepare and make the necessary adjustments.
"I can announce that it is our intention to allow outdoor markets to reopen from June the 1st, subject to all premises being made covid secure, as well as car showrooms, which often have significant outdoor space, and where it is generally easier to apply social distancing.. Then, from the 15th of June, we intend to allow all other non-essential retail, ranging from department stores to small independent shops, to reopen."
Johnson, who has fallen ill with the coronavirus himself, said the change would be contingent against five benchmark measures and would only be permitted for stores that are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines.
The United Kingdom trails the United States in the number of deaths from the COVID-19 respiratory disease, and has the fourth highest number of cases globally, according to a Reuters tally.