The latest date for the opening of non-essential retailers in Andover is Monday 15th June.
Boris Johnson made the announcement last night, also saying outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from Monday.
This may be of some help to Test Valley Borough Council who are working on methods to keep public spaces like the high street safe. But not everyone is happy.
Council Leader Phil North said on his Facebook profile this morning, “I know that retailers are raring to go and the announcement last night will have come as a disappointment to many. This does give us all (retailers included) a little bit of extra time though to ensure there is an effective social distancing and queue management regime in place.
“People need to feel safe when they visit our town centres or they will consider whether or not they come back.”
Local shop owner Phil Nightingale contacted Andover Radio to say, “If the shops have safe self distancing in place what is the problem with them opening? You could say I’m not happy with the government’s decision.
“Surely leisure items, clothes and the like are more important than cars. This is totally unfair and puts people’s mental health and well being more at risk
“People need a lifeline.”
The owner of the Record Box on George Yard which has been closed because of lockdown since late March added, “Stay home and keep safe they said on 23rd March. Then on 25th May ‘Go out, buy a car and visit all the markets in the country. Because you can’t go into a shop'”.
Test Valley Borough Council were given £112,000 of government money last week as part of their ‘Reopening High Streets Safely Fund’. Cllr North said, “The money has been provided to a support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers to help with queue management.“
The council say they will make further announcements on how the money will be spent later this week.