Christmas shopping saved as ‘all shops to reopen regardless of tier’ in 10 days
High streets could be feeling the festive spirit soon (Image: Getty Images)
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The annual tradition of the last-minute Christmas scramble for gifts has been saved after it was reported that all shops will remain open when lockdown ends in just 10 days time, even if they're in the strictest tiers of the new lockdown.
England will enter a tougher three-tiered system of local coronavirus restrictions when the national lockdown ends on December 2.
Boris Johnson is expected to detail his plan for winter to MPs on Monday as he sets out how people can see their loved ones at Christmas.
The “Covid winter plan” is expected to place more areas into the higher tiers to keep the virus under control to ensure further restrictions are not needed, No 10 said.
The tiers are expected to be strengthened to safeguard the gains made during the national lockdown but it is understood that the controversial 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants will be altered under the new system.
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More areas could shift into the strictest Tier 3 rules under the proposals, with regions affected set to be decided at a meeting on Thursday.
But despite that, there's good news for businesses – as the PM is expected to say that all shops can now remain open, the Mail on Sunday reports.
Non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors yet again under the new measures.
The news will give a welcome boost to traders who have so far lost out on the usual Christmas rush.
However, in areas with the highest infection rates, bookmakers and so-called 'wet pubs' that do not serve food may be required to remain closed.
The 10pm pub curfew is also expected to bite the dust with the Prime Minister is expected to say that, while last orders must be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish their food and drinks with opening hours to be extended until 11pm.
The Cabinet is expected to discuss and sign off the plan on Sunday before Mr Johnson announces it to Parliament the following day.
Ministers will detail what tier each area will be placed into on Thursday and MPs are expected to be given the vote to approve the new system, as promised by Mr Johnson, in the days before it comes into force on December 2.