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Bromsgrove residents and businesses are being reminded to stay safe in the run up to Christmas as restrictions around shop opening hours are relaxed and pubs and restaurants reopen.

From yesterday, when Bromsgrove entered Tier 2, retail shops and supermarkets may open for longer on Mondays to Saturdays during December and January. Most shops are not subject to planning conditions that limit their hours of opening.

Bromsgrove District Council Leader Karen May, said: “Most businesses can already do this but if you have a planning condition that restricts your opening hours then we will temporarily relax enforcement of this. But we do ask that delivery times are still within normal hours.

“While these moves do mean that shopping is spread out and crowds less likely, everyone’s safety is paramount and if we do receive complaints about noise and disruption as a result of businesses opening for longer, then we will negotiate with them to find a compromise.”

Off-licences, and other businesses whose opening hours are controlled by a licence, must continue to operate within those hours. Failure to do so may result in enforcement action.

And as pubs and restaurants reopen, owners are reminded that outdoor shelters to contain extra seating face the same measures as smoking shelters. The open sides need to be bigger than the closed sides.

Cllr May added: “These new measures are good news for our local businesses and residents in the run up to Christmas and this weekend’s Small Business Saturday.

“But we still need to bear in mind that we are in Tier 2 and to follow the rules because ultimately we need to keep the number of Covid cases decreasing in our area.”

For more details about Tier 2 restrictions visit our coronavirus page, while here is Government advice on the rules about business closures in England that came into effect on Wednesday 2 December.