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Council to take relax approach to Sunday trading hours for food businesses in run up to Christmas

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has confirmed it will take a relaxed approach to Sunday trading hours for businesses selling food across the borough in the run-up to Christmas.

The decision follows a call from Councillor Catherine Nelson to ensure that the regulations around Sunday trading hours were relaxed for non-essential retail.

Speaking at November’s monthly council meeting, the Craigavon councillor urged officers to consider arrangements and have plans in place, should non-essential retail be given the green light to reopen on December 11.

“I am asking officers if they can look at relaxing the rules around Sunday trading hours,” said the Sinn Fein representative.

“This could be really helpful for those retailers classed as non-essential should they be allowed to open on December 11.

“I am happy enough if officers do not have an answer to this request tonight but I would like it to be considered like it was as we exited the first lockdown.”

While no answer was provided on the night, the council has now confirmed it will relax Sunday trading laws for shops selling food until Sunday, December 20.

As a result, it is understood stores will be allowed to open earlier on Sundays.

“Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will operate a relaxed approach to legislative Sunday trading for food stores on: November 29, Deember 6, December 13 and December 20,” confirmed a Council spokesperson.

“This temporary measure will apply to food stores in excess of 280 square metres and will help support the current public health advice as customers access essential food supplies during this period.”

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