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Emergency legislation for shops during the Olympics

Emergency legislation will be used to lift the six-hour limit on the opening hours for larger stores across the whole of England and Wales on eight weekends covering the Olympics and Paralympics.

Officials hope hundreds of thousands of visitors flooding to the capital for the Olympics will take advantage of late-night shopping in the West End.

But the move may meet opposition from church leaders and some Tory backbenchers who have already warned that it may lead to a permanent relaxation.

Under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, large shops over 280 square metres in England and Wales are restricted to six hours' continuous trading between 10am and 6pm on Sundays and cannot open at all on Easter Sunday.