Car dealers have been given the green light to reopen in England on June 1, following a statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his Downing Street press briefing yesterday (Monday).

Dealerships have been closed since the lockdown was imposed on March 23 following government guidelines to control the spread of coronavirus.

Since then, dealerships have been waiting to find out when they would be able to reopen alongside non-essential retail businesses. The Prime Minister confirmed dealerships could reopen providing they meet Covid-19 guidelines to keep staff and customers safe from the start of next month.

The Prime Minister said new guidance was being published for the retail sector “detailing the measures they should take to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standard”.

With car dealers already being able to deliver cars to people’s homes throughout the lockdown, and offer a ‘click and collect’ service since May 15, many have been gearing up to take the necessary precautions ready for reopening. Many firms have invested in PPE to ensure the safety of customers and staff, and are altering showroom layouts to ensure social distancing can be adhered to.

Speaking last week, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMT) chief executive Mike Hawes said, “Government measures to support the critical automotive industry during the crisis have provided an essential lifeline, and the sector is now ready to return to work to help the UK rebuild.

“Car showrooms, just like garden centres, are spacious and can accommodate social distancing easily, making them some of the UK’s safest retail premises. Allowing dealers to get back to business will help stimulate consumer confidence and unlock recovery of the wider industry, boosting tax revenue and reducing the burden on government spending.”