Glimmer of light for taxi trade as non-essential shops given the go-ahead to re-open on Monday

Taxi drivers around England may finally see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel as non-essential shops are given the go-ahead to re-open on Monday, the business secretary Alok Sharma has confirmed.

With the announcement comes the possibility of more movement around towns, therefore more opportunities for local taxi drivers to finally pickup fares.

The taxi industry has seen a huge downturn in business since the start of lockdown, pushing some to nearing bankruptcy. Taxi fleet owners have also struggled when cabs were handed back by the dozens as drivers chose to stay at home and ride out the pandemic.

Speaking of the announcement and asked about the possibility of reducing the 2m social distancing rule, Mr Sharma said "we keep these matters under review" but did not give a date.

He also said pubs, bars, restaurants and hairdressers will not be able to reopen until 4 July "at the earliest". Once pubs and restaurants are given the go-ahead, nightlife will hopefully begin to come to life again, opening up even more opportunities for cabbies who have been part of the frontline transport network throughout the coronavirus.

Northern Ireland will see all shops open from Friday if they wish. No dates have been set for the reopening of non-essential shops in Scotland and Wales, although each country has set out its planned stages for lifting lockdown.

Mr Sharma said the change would allow the High Street to "spring back to life", but stressed that any shop found to not be following safety guidelines will be issued enforcement notices.

Image credit: Ross Campbell

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