The retail sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic with some of the UK’s biggest high street names falling victim to lockdown restrictions.

A lack of footfall has seen retail empire Arcadia, owner of Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, Laura Ashley and Edinburgh Woollen Mill enter administration over the past few months.

Online retailers have bought brands with plans to move them online resulting in job losses and suggesting the pandemic has had an irreversible impact on UK retail.

Asos bought Topshop and Miss Selfridge while Boohoo bought Debenhams with both online retailers revealing plans to move business online.

So with all eyes on Boris Johnson ahead of Monday - when he is expected to reveal his “road map” detailing how he plans to gradually ease the country out of lockdown - attention turns to when we might see non-essential retailers open their doors once more.

Wiltshire Times: Boris Johnson will detail plans to lead the country out of lockdown on Monday. (PA)Boris Johnson will detail plans to lead the country out of lockdown on Monday. (PA)

This is what we know so far.

When will non-essential shops reopen?

The Prime Minister has said the easing of restrictions in England will happen in “stages” and the reopening of schools remain the priority.

Boris Johnson has said easing England’s lockdown will be based on a “cautious and prudent approach”, as he was urged to focus on data rather than dates when lifting restrictions.

The Prime Minister has been clear that he wants this lockdown to be the last.

He urged the public to be “both optimistic but also patient” ahead of announcing plans saying “we want progress to be cautious but also irreversible.”

While a return to classrooms will be the priority, it is likely non-essential shops will be high on the list of priorities for the government with ministers concerned over the economic consequences of extending lockdown further.

Under current guidance, only essential shops such as supermarkets, newsagents and DIY stores are allowed to open.

Wiltshire Times: Only essential shops are open under current lockdown restrictions. (PA)Only essential shops are open under current lockdown restrictions. (PA)

But Sky News report internal plans suggest a rapid reopening of the economy once schools are reopened.

The blueprint reportedly reveals plans for non-essential shops to reopen by mid-April, at the same time students in higher education and further education return.

Non-essential stores will likely follow the example of supermarkets and introduce stricter rules for shoppers including face covering and social distancing.