PREPARATIONS are underway to reopen Birkenhead Market for non-essential retail from Monday as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement earlier this week, non-essential retail and personal care, including hair and beauty will be able to reopen in both indoor and outdoor areas of the market.

Indoor seating will remain closed for the time being.

The market has been operating throughout all three national lockdowns but in a reduced capacity providing essential retail only and also being a lifeline for many people to access fresh food and produce, including home deliveries.

The market will be open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

A council spokesperson said: "Risk assessments have been completed to address all areas of the Market including ensuring the correct PPE is used, increased cleaning, changes to the market layout, and security.

"Social distancing measures will be in place throughout the Market for the safety of traders and their customers.

"The public toilets will also reopen in accordance with government guidance.

"Work on the demolition of nearby Milton Pavements has continued as part of the wider regeneration of the town centre which will include a new Market building.

"A potential temporary location for the Market while its new home is built has also been identified at St Werburghs Square and work continues on this."

An online consultation on the town's future is also currently underway.

You can find out more and take part in the survey at

The consultation, lasting for eight weeks, ends on May 19.

The reopening of shops was among a series of measures in stage two of lockdown easing confirmed by Boris Johnson on Easter Monday. Mr Johnson said the four tests for easing the lockdown in England had been met, so further relaxing of restrictions can go ahead.

From Monday (April 12):

  • Non-essential shops and close-contact services such as hairdressers and barbers can reopen
  • Restaurants and pubs can start serving customers outdoors, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew.
  • However, people will have to eat and drink while seated
  • Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
  • The number of care home visitors allowed will increase to two per resident
  • All children will be able to attend any indoor children's activity, including sport Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors
  • People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise domestic travel. International holidays are still illegal.
  • Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households and you must not socialise indoors with anyone you do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with.

Announcing the news of lockdown easing, Boris Johnson said on Monday: "We can't be complacent. We can see the waves of sickness affecting other countries and we have seen how this story goes.

"We still don’t know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I'm afraid that they will, and that's why we are saying please get your vaccine, or your second dose, when your turn comes.

"I want to thank you all for your patience, because it is clear this is paying off.

"Our collective efforts are giving us the crucial time and space to vaccinate people.

“The net result of your efforts and of course the vaccine rollout is that I can today confirm that from Monday, we will move to step two of our road map."

Mr Johnson added: "We set out our roadmap and are sticking to it, and I want to stress that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that road map.

"But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules – remembering hand, face, space, fresh air – that we hope together to make this road map to freedom irreversible."

He also encouraged people to use free NHS tests as part of the drive to identify cases without symptoms.

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