UK shops may be able to stay open around the clock in December and January under temporary rules announced for England. 

As the government tries anything it can to help a sector battered by coronavirus lockdowns this year, councils in England will be able to decide whether or not to allow shops to open all hours after ministers announced the move.

Under normal rules, retailers that wish to extend their hours beyond 9am to 7pm from Monday to Saturday need to apply for permission from local councils.

But the government said it will waive these rules temporarily once England comes out of its second lockdown on Wednesday and enters a new round of tiered restrictions.

Primark, the fast-fashion chain owned by Associated British Foods PLC (LON:ANF) has revealed plans to open 11 shops for 24 hours a day, while Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS) said it plans to open hundreds of stores until midnight.

Next PLC (LON:NXT), Dixons Carphone PLC‘s (LON:DC.) Currys PC World, and other high street chains have also said they will extend their trading hours. 

MPs will need to approve Downing Street’s new tier plans in the House of Commons tomorrow before they can come into effect.