The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has given a cautious welcome to this week’s government announcement about the removal of COVID-19 ‘Plan B’ restrictions in England, and the move to Plan A status from next Thursday (January 27).
Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “It is a positive sign to see the Omicron wave abating, but we hope that the decision to remove some of the regulations is based on science rather that political reasoning.
“Retail businesses need certainty and we want to be sure that retailers do not need to re-introduce these measures in the near future because the government has acted in haste. We now hope that the government can focus on business support as we look to recover.”
In a statement to MPs this week, prime minister Boris Johnson said the Omicron wave had peaked nationally and that face masks will no longer be compulsory in indoor venues from next week, although people are still advised to wear coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces.
The prime minister also said the government intended to end the legal requirement for people to self-isolate after they test positive for Covid. Self-isolation regulations remain in place, but when the current self-isolation regulations expire on March 24, Johnson said he expected not to renew them.
Bira works with more than 6,000 independent businesses.