// Non-essential stores in England to stay open until 10pm next month
// Stores are set to reopen on April 12
// Trade union Usdaw warned that retail staff may not approve of the extended hours
The government has announced that shops in England will be permitted to remain open until 10pm once lockdown restrictions are eased next month.
Non-essential stores will be able to open for extended hours Monday to Saturday to encourage shoppers to return, while easing pressure on public transport at peak times.
Under the temporary measures, shops will be allowed to open at 7am and close at 10pm.
- The state of UK retail one year after the first lockdown
- Another 18,000 shops may permanently close their doors this year
The new opening hours are expected to be popular with shoppers, particularly after they were given the opportunity to shop in extended opening hours in the lead up to the Christmas period.
However, trade union Usdaw warned that retail staff may not approve of the new extended hours, which should be voluntary or covered by new staff.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has said that the new opening hours are “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,” he said.