Retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas and through January, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.
From Wednesday 2 December, as England returns to a system of tiered restrictions, all non-essential retail across England will be able to reopen, and planning rules limiting opening hours will be eased to allow shops to be open for longer Monday to Saturday.
The Government has said these measures will help ease transport pressures and make socially distanced shopping easier by giving people greater flexibility to choose when they shop and avoid peak times.
“None of us entirely enjoy navigating the crowds, especially now when social distancing is so important for controlling the pandemic,” said Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP. “So with these changes your local shops can open longer, ensuring more pleasant and safer shopping with less pressure on public transport.
“How long will be a choice for shopkeepers and at the discretion of the council. Councils should offer these hard pressed entrepreneurs and businesses the greatest possible flexibility this festive season.”
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented on the news: “With just over 3 weeks until Christmas, shoppers will welcome the additional opportunities to shop that the government’s statement supports. Such measures will give more flexibility for shoppers about when and how they shop and we’d encourage everyone to avoid peak times where possible, not leave it all to the last minute and follow all the safety guidelines.”