Shops in England will be allowed to trade for 24 hours a day in the coming weeks, housing secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed.
The relaxation of trading hours has been made in a bid to support struggling businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
Writing in The Telegraph, Jenrick said: “None of us, I suspect, enjoys navigating the crowds, and none would relish that when social distancing is so important to controlling the virus.
“These changes mean your local shops can open longer, ensuring more pleasant and safer shopping, with less pressure on public transport.”
Trading hours for individual businesses will be able to be outlined by shopkeepers and local councils, and the relaxed hours will apply to trading between Monday and Saturday.
Primark will reportedly be one of the first retailers to implement 24-hour trading in 11 UK stores opening on Wednesday when lockdown restrictions in England lift, according to the BBC.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at The British Retail Consortium (BRC), told the BBC that she welcomed the “additional opportunities” that the move will provide shoppers with in the build-up to Christmas.
In addition, M&S recently unveiled plans to keep its stores open until midnight in a bid to ensure staff and shoppers safety.