SHOPS in Oxford reopening later this month have been encouraged to get safety measures in place now.

Oxford City Council is urging business owners to start making preparations for June 15, the date they are legally allowed to reopen, so they can operate safely now a clear timeline has been established.

The Prime Minister has said all non-essential retailers will be able to operate from June 15 provided sufficient progress is made in controlling the virus.

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The council’s business regulation team has been advising retailers across the city about government rules on who can trade, advice on how to prepare for reopening and what measures are needed to keep staff and the public safe.

Government guidelines, titled ‘Working safely during Coronavirus’, have been issued for eight sectors of the economy setting out which businesses can open and what risk assessments and safety measures must be implemented.

This applies to businesses allowed to open now and those preparing for a phased reopening in coming weeks.

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Business owners are recommended to review the latest guidelines and see how this will fit in with their trading operations and premises.

This, it is hoped, will help identify what changes they need to make to trade safely and be compliant with the new rules.

The new guidance covers the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), managing access to buildings and services, cleaning the workplace and workforce management.

The council has responsibility for enforcing health and safety regulation in around 1,800 businesses across Oxford, such as shops, warehouses, markets, cafes and offices.


Mary Clarkson

Mary Clarkson, city council cabinet member for the city centre, covered market and culture, said: “We need a vibrant local economy and we are working to support businesses to re-open, but we also need to ensure that employees and the public are kept safe.”

For health and safety advice contact the Health & Safety Executive in the first instance on 0300 003 1647 or online through

Oxford City Council’s Business Regulation Team can be reached on 01865 252862 or