Shops can stay open until 10pm six days a week after lockdown

26 March 2021, 18:55

People wearing face masks walk along a near-deserted Oxford Street in London
People wearing face masks walk along a near-deserted Oxford Street in London. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Shops will be able to stay open until 10pm six days a week when they reopen from April 12, the government announced today.

The measure is aimed at helping business kick start after lockdown and thinning out crowds at shops to aid social distancing.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said extended opening hours from Monday to Saturday will help shoppers return to high streets safely when non-essential shops reopen from April 12.

READ MORE: What lockdown restrictions are lifting in England on 29th March?

Shops will be able to extend their opening hours from 7am to 10pm to help customers to avoid peak times and ease transport pressures, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Under the road map for easing lockdown measures, non-essential retailers could open again from April 12, at the earliest, provided conditions are met.

Announcing the temporary measures, Mr 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 £56 million.

"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."

The Government has also announced it will extend flexible working hours on construction sites, and will allow food deliveries to supermarkets over more time periods.

Other measures also included keeping the flexibility for pubs and restaurants to put up marquees to help increase seating capacity in a Covid-secure way.