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Non-essential stores could reopen on 12 April - Usdaw calls on customers to follow the rules and for retail staff to be prioritised for vaccination

Date: 22 February 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw is calling on customers to follow the rules and respect shopworkers, as non-essential stores in England could reopen on 12 April, according to today’s roadmap out of lockdown. Usdaw also urges the Government to ensure shopworkers are high on the priority list for vaccination.
Paddy Lillis - Usdaw General Secretary says: “The reopening of non-essential stores offers a lifeline for many retailers. That is good news in terms of helping to safeguard jobs, but the virus is still out there. It is essential that the tests set out by the Government before reopening are followed, so that shops only reopen when the data suggests that it will be safe.

“When they do reopen, we expect employers to maintain necessary safety measures, including 2 metre distancing, and call on customers to follow the rules and respect staff. Regrettably, throughout this appalling pandemic, incidents of abuse towards shopworkers doubled. It should never be just a part of the job and shopworkers must be respected.

“Retail staff are working with the public every day and are not only facing increased abuse, but also a higher chance of catching Covid-19. That needs to be taken into account when deciding priority lists for vaccines. The Government must prioritise vulnerable occupations in the second phase of the vaccine rollout, reflecting the risks they face.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers