The extended daily opening hours for non-essential retail are set to continue in a bid to encourage people back to the highstreet, according to the government.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said the move 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 stores reopen from 12 April, shops will continue to have the flexibility to open until 10pm Monday to Saturday.
A written ministerial statement was laid on 25 March to give non-essential retail this greater flexibility as the country “cautiously” moves out of lockdown.
As part of the £56m ‘Welcome Back Fund’ announced last week, Jenrick is also encouraging councils to continue supporting social distancing measures and relaxing planning rules where possible to ensure people can continue to keep a safe distance whilst shopping.
In addition to retail, 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.
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.”