Stores could remain open 24 hours a day in the run-up to Christmas in a Government bid to boost England’s ailing high street.
Under the new plans, councils will be able to waive rules prohibiting retailer’s opening hours to help shop owners recoup sales lost during the coronavirus lockdown.
Announcing the move on Sunday, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said he wanted to ensure a more enjoyable and safe shopping experience for all.
Existing regulations state that any retailers wanting to extend their hours beyond 9 am to 7 pm from Monday to Saturday must apply for special permission, but Robert Jenrick said he wanted to suspend such processes, which can take weeks to help business owners after months of COVID 19 constraints.
The minister said stores should be able to determine their opening hours through December and January and even have the option of operating 24/7 services.
Robert Jenrick said that with these modifications local stores could open longer, ensuring more enjoyable and safer shopping with less stress on public transportation.
He continued that how long would be a matter of choice for the shopkeepers and at the discretion of the council, but that he would recommend they offer those hard-pressed entrepreneurs and businesses the greatest possible flexibility this festive season.
He said that as Local Government Secretary he was relaxing planning constraints and issuing an unambiguous request to councils to let businesses to welcome them into their glowing stores late into the evening and beyond if they desire.
He continued that those shops and supermarkets would be able to restock their racks whenever they wish, with flexible deliveries to keep the streets free for the rest of us when we’re out and about and he suggested that such modifications would enable to free our small business people to get on with earning a living.
The announcement came as England prepares to enter a fresh round of tiered constraints as the national lockdown concludes.
Under the new system, non-essential shops, gyms, beauticians and other personal care services will be permitted to open across the country, making a relaxation on the pre lockdown tiers, but several of Robert Jenrick’s Conservative colleagues believe the new measures too draconic, or unfair on specific areas, and the Government has scrambled to suppress a backbench uprising over their enforcement.
However, too many shop employees are already working long hours for very little income and usually don’t get enhancements for unsocial hours, so there needs to be some fairness and reasonableness for everyone in our society.
England used to be known for its sense of fair play, but now we’re turning into ‘I’m alright jack’ in a mini American society.
So, this now means that we can go shopping without a substantial meal and you might not have to go home until after 11 pm and COVID won’t attack us – extremely interesting because loads of stores will be heaving, with no social distancing or test and trace, so is this really about the virus?
I just hope that staff are paid appropriately for these unsociable hours, but then it appears that retail staff aren’t that important, but I guess if staff are willing to work, it might save them from losing their jobs and their businesses closing down.
This is similar to the ‘eat out to help out’ just so they can try and save the economy at Christmas, while the rich get richer and the working classes die, and it seems that London gets to open up like there’s no pandemic, while the rest of us are on tier 3.