Non-Essential Shops Will Soon Be Able To Open Until 10pm In A Major Boost To Retailers
Retailers will be able to open until 10pm from April 12 as the government extends Christmas shopping hours in a bid to boost the high street after months of closure.
Shops will be able to extend their opening hours from 7am to 10pm when coronavirus restrictions lift.
The government says this is because many will have to operate social distancing and limit numbers going into stores at any one time, so it's a chance to get more people through the door and give more flexibility for shoppers. It is also hoped it will reduce pressure on transport.
Secretary of state for communities, Robert Jenrick, is asking councils to be flexible and not take planning enforcement action on shops trying to extend their hours.
New rules will be for Monday to Saturday hours only.
In a written ministerial statement in the Commons yesterday Jenrick said local planning authorities "should not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would result in the unnecessary restriction of retail hours between 7am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday."
He added: "The Government recognises that longer retail opening hours could have a temporary impact on local residents, but this needs to be balanced by the significant public interest in ensuring there is a safe retail environment when non-essential shops reopen.
"The 10pm limitation should also mitigate the impact for local residents."
The hours apparently replicate what the government put in place in the run up to Christmas, though due to the lockdown shops did not have many days to take advantage of the longer trading hours.
The Government is also extending flexible working hours on construction sites, allowing food deliveries to supermarkets over more time periods, and keeping the flexibility for pubs and restaurants to erect marquees to help increase seating capacity in a Covid-secure way.
Jenrick said: “To support businesses to reopen and recover, I’ve extended measures to allow shops to stay open for longer. This is part of a package of support to help reopen our shops and high-streets safely – backed by £56 million.
“This will provide a much-needed boost for many businesses – protecting jobs, reducing pressure on public transport and supporting people and communities to continue to visit their high streets safely and shop locally.”