Supermarkets could stay open for longer on Sundays as part of a government strategy to deal with coronavirus with Boris Johnson confirming that he’s looking at easing stringent laws which dictate how long shops can open for on the weekend.
The Prime Minister said things could be done differently and better, adding, “Why not start being flexible?” However, no details of any review, including when and how any changes could happen, have been established.
However, a senior bishop has signalled that the Church of England could swing behind a temporary relaxation of the rules.
Large shops such as supermarkets are forbidden from opening for longer than six hours on Sundays between 10 am and 6 pm.
Longer hours have long been rejected by Tory MPs and religious organisations, who state Sunday must be special for low wage staff and small stores attempting to compete, but the coronavirus crisis has led to unusual demand at supermarkets, with lengthy queues outside as fewer people are allowed in owing to social distancing.
And now there are indications the Church of England could accept a temporary easing of Sunday trading laws to boost the economy because we must all think about innovative and flexible ways to preserve our local economies.
We must additionally think of ways to protect worker’s mental well being and it’s clear that having a day off in common with the rest of our communities is key to those protections and to spend time with loved ones is a fundamental right.
And retail workers have enough to deal with and get precious little in return for it and many of them in supermarkets and other essential stores have spent all their time during the coronavirus working and endangering their well-being, and now the government wants to compensate them by telling them they have to work longer hours.
And anyone who believes that opening shops longer has never worked in retail and this entire concept is simply driven by nothing but greed. Let the government work in them on these longer hours so they can get a taster.
And I can’t help but think that the call to socially distance has been translated by the nanny state into virtually complete segregation at home superintended by a police force that’s so profoundly politicised that it can’t separate one idea from the other.
If supermarkets can organise socially separated shopping, then why should the same not apply to garden centres and parks and other small businesses?
Mind you, anyone making visits to supermarkets during this pandemic must have a lot of endurance and patience. Queuing for ages with the slow shuffle around the shop, following the footprints or arrows, only being permitted to go one way, then queuing for the till, after failing to find half the stuff one needs is about as stressful and bothersome as shopping gets.
Supermarkets have been making virtuous announcements about prioritising the elderly during these unpredictable times but never implement it correctly and it appears that no one has benefited from these prioritised periods, with the elderly not being able to go out because they’re on total lockdown, yet they’re not victorious in getting a delivery of groceries, while far younger people are getting their deliveries regularly.
The NHS appears to have privileged times but not particularly long ones, although that is a move in the right direction, otherwise it would be every man and woman for themselves.
Thank goodness the local Chinese is open and doing deliveries, apparently, they do a nice Snake and Kidney pie, or possibly a Bat Wing soup but joking aside, I sit here day after day following the news and reading online and I’m completely astounded by the persistence of collective ignorance because why on earth does any person with half a brain need a law before they will apply good old fashioned common sense?