Covid lockdown roadmap: Non-essential retailers able to open until 10pm when rules ease, Robert Jenrick says

People out shopping on a busy high street Credit: PA

All retailers will be able to stay open until 10pm six days a week when they welcome back customers after months of closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has announced.

Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said extended opening hours from Monday to Saturday will help shoppers return to high streets safely when non-essential shops reopen from April 12 in England.

Shops will be able to extend their opening hours from 7am to 10pm to help customers to avoid peak times and ease transport pressures, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Under the road map for easing lockdown measures, non-essential retailers could open again from April 12, at the earliest, provided conditions are met.

Announcing the temporary measures, Mr Jenrick said: "To support businesses to reopen and recover, I’ve extended measures to allow shops to stay open for longer.

"This is 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."

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The government has also announced it will extend flexible working hours on construction sites, and will allow food deliveries to supermarkets over more time periods.

Other measures also included keeping the flexibility for pubs and restaurants to put up marquees to help increase seating capacity in a Covid-secure way.

What about pubs and restaurants?

The date to look for when it comes to pubs and restaurants is April 12, but this will be for outdoor seating only at this stage.

There will be no substantial meal requirement for alcohol orders and the rule of six will still apply. In terms of opening hours, no curfews will be set.

Indoor seating will open after May 17, with the rule of six restrictions still in place. After this date, there will be no limits to the number socialising outdoors.

When can I meet my friends and family?

From March 29, the rule of six will return and the stay at home order will end, though government messaging will encourage people to stay local.

This means groups of six – each from a different household – can meet in a public, outdoor space.

Two separate households will also be allowed to gather together.

No earlier than June 21, all social contact limits will be lifted, meaning family reunions and larger social gatherings will finally be allowed.