In an announcement from Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick on Monday, November 30, retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run-up to Christmas and through January.
From Wednesday, December 2, 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.
While being a boost to business, 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.
This builds on the extra government support to help businesses and protect jobs, including an extension of the furlough scheme at 80 per cent until the end of March, grants of up to £3,000 (€3,340) for premises that must close, and £1.1 (€1.22) billion for councils to enable them to support businesses in their area.
Robert Jenrick MP said: “None of us entirely enjoy navigating the crowds, especially now when social distancing is so important for controlling the pandemic. 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.” he concluded.
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