Chloe Shakesby

Government announces UK shops allowed to open 24 hours a day over Christmas period

The government has today announced that it is extending the hours during which retailers are allowed to trade over the Christmas period.

In today’s announcement, communities secretary Robert Jenrick has set out new opening hours for retailers starting from Wednesday (2 December).

Daily opening hour restrictions from Monday to Saturday will be lifted, meaning that retailers can trade 24 hours a day.

The changes are expected to ease transport pressures and make socially distanced shopping easier.

Robert Jenrick commented: “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.”

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, added: “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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