Shops will be open for 24 hours for Christmas: under the new plan, shop owners can try to recoup some of the sales lost during the lockdown.
Shops will be open for 24 hours for Christmas. Under the new plan, shop owners can try to recoup some of the sales lost during the lockdown.
Shops Open For Christmas
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he wanted to ensure a “more pleasant and safe shopping experience” for all.
Current rules declare that any retailers wanting to extend their hours beyond 9 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday must apply for special permission. But Mr Jenrick said he wanted to suspend such processes which take weeks in order to help business owners. The minister stated shops should be able to pick their opening hours through December and January and even have the possibility of running 24/7 services.
Mr Jenrick added that with these changes local shops can open longer, ensuring more pleasant and safer shopping with less pressure on public transport. “How long will be a matter of choice for the shopkeepers and at the discretion of the council, but I suggest we offer these hard-pressed entrepreneurs and businesses the greatest possible flexibility this festive season.”
The announcement came after England prepares to start a new round of tiered restrictions once the national lockdown ends on Wednesday. Under the new system, non-essential shops, gyms, beauticians and other personal care services will be permitted to open across the country. It is also marking a relaxation on the pre-lockdown tiers.
The tiered plans must pass a crunch Commons vote on Tuesday before they can come into effect. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the new restrictions were necessary to “bear down” on the pandemic and stop a third national shutdown. He also added that the Government are doing everything us can to avoid another lockdown.
Professor Peter Openshaw of Imperial College, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said a Covid vaccine could be available “as early as next week”.
The Government has also announced it had secured another two million doses of US firm Moderna’s Covid vaccine, which trials submit is 95 per cent effective.