Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that Britain could reopen all non-essential retail stores on June 15 if the coronavirus remains contained.
"On June 15, we intend to allow all non-essential retail, ranging from department stores to small independent shops, to reopen," Johnson told reporters, stressing that this "will be contingent upon progress against" the disease.
Britain's official death count of 36,914 is Europe's highest.
But the number of new deaths and infections has fallen sharply from its peak and the country is on course to reopen outdoor markets as well as schools for younger children on June 1.
"Because of the progress we are making, I can, with confidence, put the British people on notice of the changes we intend to introduce as we move into Step Two," Johnson said.
He said classes can resume for the oldest children on June 15.
"We are asking schools gradually to reopen," he said.
"I am confident that the common sense of the British people will see us through."
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