Boost for retail as opening hours for Christmas shopping extended

Boost for retail as opening hours for Christmas shopping extended
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bigstock__132265295Retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas and through January.

In a much-needed boost for the high street, 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 today.

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.

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.

The majority of shop owners have already made their premises Covid-secure. Allowing retailers to extend their opening hours from Monday to Saturday will mean an even safer shopping experience in the run up to Christmas and through the January sales, when shops are usually much busier.

This builds on the extra government support to help businesses and protect jobs. Including an extension of the furlough scheme at 80% until the end of March, grants of up to £3,000 for premises that must close, and £1.1 billion for councils to enable them to support businesses in their area.

Consumer Minister Paul Scully said: "Our number one priority over the Christmas period is to keep the public safe, while ensuring businesses can reopen in a safe and Covid-secure way.

"Extending opening hours for retailers across England will give people more choice about when they can shop, and businesses will have more time to serve their customers safely during the busy festive period."

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: "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."

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