The Queen has told Brits to get out and shop this weekend as the UK's lockdown moves to level three.

Britain's economy has taken a pounding after the government imposed a lockdown in March which closed all non-essential retailers, with figures on Friday showing public borrowing had hit a record high.

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Queen Elizabeth spoke of her "great pride" during her message of support for UK businesses in the week many non-essential shops reopened as coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased.

The Queen said in her message to the British Chambers of Commerce: "As many organisations around the country are reopening, I send my warmest best wishes and support to business communities throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and across the world.

"At a time of great difficulty for many, it is heart-warming to see the civic response and generosity of so many businesses, small and large, to the challenges posed, whether supporting the health sector or vulnerable communities.

"As patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, it gives me great pride to see the contribution you and your members are making to help firms, champion trade and rebuild communities.

"I wish all businesses every success in their endeavours in the weeks and months ahead."

To show their support, William and Kate separately visited a bakers and a garden centre in Kings Lynn in eastern England to see how they had coped.

In her first face-to-face engagement since the lockdown, Kate chatted to customers and filled up a shopping cart with plants at the garden centre, revealing that her three children had been growing tomato plants at their nearby home.

"When we do our food shopping we notice that everyone keeps their head down and it's hard for that social interaction," she said.

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, BCC's president, welcomed the Queen's message and said it would be a "huge morale boost" to business communities during the pandemic.

Baroness McGregor-Smith said in response to the Queen's words: "The Queen's personal message of support will be a huge morale boost to our business communities at this complex and sensitive time.

"We are grateful that Her Majesty has recognised the crucial role Chambers of Commerce play supporting businesses and communities through the pandemic, and as we restart, rebuild and renew the economy."

Retail sales rebounded much more strongly last month than expected and on Monday there were long queues of shoppers when many stores in England reopened their doors.

Britain's coronavirus alert level has been lowered from four to three – paving the way for a relaxation of the two-metre rule.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the move as “big moment for the country” and praised Brits’ determination to beat the disease.

The Government’s chief medical officers, led by Prof Chris Whitty, say transmission of the bug is no longer high or rising exponentially.

It prompted the Joint Biosecurity Centre to advise ministers they could reduce the alert level from four to three on their five-point scale.

This allows for a “gradual relaxation of restrictions and social distancing measures” – raising hopes that the two-metre rule could be eased.

It's high time Britain bounced back from lockdown – and The Sun aims to help you lead the way.

With shops reopening, sport relaunching and families joyfully reuniting from next week, our major new Bounce Back Britain campaign intends to put people, communities and businesses back on their feet.

With practical advice, detailed guides and a host of money-­saving offers we’ll be with Sun readers every step of the way as you put your life back together – and start spending to help our economy mend too.


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