Longer opening hours for local businesses as lockdown eases

Shops across Brighton & Hove will be able to open for longer to support the safe return to the high street for shoppers from Monday 12 April.

As lockdown is eased further, shops with restrictions to their opening hours from Monday to Saturday will have the option to operate between 7am and 10pm until at least 21 June.

Allowing shops to open for longer will support social distancing by giving people greater flexibility of when to shop and avoid peak times. Of course, it will also help boost trade which is a vital part of the city’s economic recovery.

Although most restrictions on shop opening hours were removed in 1994, many retailers are subject to local controls through planning conditions.

These restrict opening times, particularly early morning, evening and at night. Conditions are put in place to make developments acceptable to residents and minimise potential impacts such as noise.

The government recognise that longer retail opening hours could have a temporary impact on local residents, but this needs to be balanced by the significant public interest in ensuring there is a safe retail environment when non-essential shops reopen. 

The 10pm limitation should help mitigate the impact for local residents over the next 10 weeks.

Restrictions on Sunday opening hours, which apply to larger stores, still remain in place. 

We know that city businesses have made huge efforts and invested heavily to make them Covid secure for both their staff and customers. Giving them the option to open for longer should support the other measures they’ve put in place to keep people safe and manage social distancing.

Deliveries and licensing

A similar approach has been operating since March to enable shops to receive deliveries of goods and supplies at different times to keep shelves stocked with items (this has also been extended until at least 21 June). 

Licensing restrictions remain in place. This means that businesses providing hot food and drink must close that part of the business by 11pm or secure a late-night refreshments licence from the council.

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