Extended opening hours to continue when non-essential retail returns

high street london

Extended daily opening hours for non-essential retail will continue – helping people return to the high streets safely, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed.

This will help ensure the safe re-opening of non-essential shops by giving people greater flexibility to avoid peak times and easing transport pressures.

When they reopen from 12 April at the earliest, shops will have the flexibility to open until 10pm Monday to Saturday.

A written ministerial statement was laid on Thursday 25 March to give non-essential retail greater flexibility as the country cautiously moves out of lockdown.

As part of the £56m ‘Welcome Back Fund’ announced last week, Jenrick is encouraging councils to continue supporting social distancing measures and relaxing planning rules where possible to ensure people can continue to keep a safe distance on our high streets.

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 £56m. 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.”

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