“Following NFDA’s communication with the Department for Transport, the Government has confirmed that garages can stay open during the Coronavirus outbreak”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK.
On Sunday 22 March, NFDA sent a letter to Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, to highlight the association’s concerns with workshops opening during the Coronavirus outbreak.
On 23 March, the Government stepped up measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Guidance from the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government states that retail and public premises expected to remain open must:
• Ensure a distance of two meters between customers and shop assistants; and
• Let people enter the shop only in small groups, to ensure that spaces are not crowded.
Garages are included in the list of ‘exceptions’ in the retail sector which can stay open. These include supermarkets, health shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, car rentals etc.
The latest guidance aligns with the Government previous statement describing key workers in the transport sector as “those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.”
Sue Robinson added, “Aftersales workshops and their technicians will play an important role in ensuring that critical vehicles can continue to operate safely and efficiently during these challenging times”.
Full government guidance can be found here.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.