“We are offering retailers as much flexibility as we can in extending their opening hours in the run up to Christmas and beyond."
Braintree District Council is urging retailers wishing to extend their opening hours under new planning rules to get in touch.
On Monday (30 November), the Government announced that shops will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas and through January, as long as they continue to operate in a COVID secure way.
All non-essential retailers opened their doors to shoppers last week and the planning rules limiting opening hours will be eased to allow shops to open for longer from Monday to Saturday.
While being a boost to business, these measures will help ease transport pressures and make socially distanced shopping easier by giving people greater flexibility to choose when to shop so that they can avoid peak times.
The new rules will mean a safer shopping experience for shoppers and staff in the run up to Christmas and through the January sales when shops are usually much busier.
Retailers wishing to open for longer under these new planning rules should email [email protected] setting out their new opening hours. Retailers will be able to extend their opening hours up until 31 January 2021.
The stores opening for longer should consider their neighbours and the local area when it comes to noise, lighting and parking. If complaints are received, the store will be contacted and the arrangements reviewed in-line with what is acceptable.
Cllr Tom Cunningham, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “We are offering retailers as much flexibility as we can in extending their opening hours in the run up to Christmas and beyond. We are not seeing the steep rates of decline in coronavirus cases across the district that most other places are seeing nationally, so it’s important that we make sure shoppers can avoid the crowds and stay a safe distance away from others as much as possible. If retailers take advantage of this opportunity, people will be given the option to either shop during the day or into the evening giving businesses more hours to serve customers safely.”