Government relaxes opening hours enforcement for Christmas

The Government has today (30 November) announced that it has asked local authorities in England not to enforce planning restrictions on shop opening times in the run up to Christmas.

Although most English shops' opening hours are not restricted outside of Sundays, many are, and this direction from the Secretary of State asking councils not to enforce restrictions on Monday-Saturday will be welcome news for hard-pressed retailers and shoppers alike. Spreading the load by extending opening times will make shopping more accessible and more comfortable, especially given requirements for social distancing in stores.

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."

For further details of which shops are opening later in December, see this list.