Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that car showrooms in England will be allowed to open from June 1 in the latest move to ease the coronavirus lockdown.
The finer detail is yet to be confirmed, but it’s thought that car retailers will be expected to follow the lead of supermarkets and pharmacies which have limited numbers of customers at one time, one-way walking and have installed transparent screens to limit the risk of transmitting Covid-19.
Social distancing and sanitising measures are also likely to have to be implemented, while regularly touched objects and surfaces will need to be sanitised regularly and test drives will be unaccompanied.
The announcement couldn’t have come sooner for the automotive sector. UK new car registrations fell 97% in April due to the lockdown.
Just 4,321 cars were sold April – the lowest level since 1946, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). In April 2019, a total of 161,064 cars were registered.
In a tweet, the SMMT said: “Great to hear Government has listened. 1 June reopening for UK’s car showrooms – a sensible, safe next step to unlocking UK’s vital auto industry to help Britain get back to business.”