SHOPS throughout England will be able to open for longer during the Christmas period according to a cabinet minister.

The country's housing secretary Robert Jenrick MP has said councils can bypass restrictions limited opening hours for shops.

The minister wrote about the move in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

According to Mr Jenrick, the shops and councils would have the final say on how long retail businesses can stay open.

The news comes amid another month of lockdown measures which have once again left High Street businesses at breaking point.

Its hoped the relaxation on restrictions will boost business for the shops in the run up to Christmas and January.

It is believed the new rules would be in place from Monday to Saturday.

In his article, Mr Jenrick wrote: "None of us, I suspect, enjoys navigating the crowds, and none would relish that when social distancing is so important to controlling the virus.

"These changes mean your local shops can open longer, ensuring more pleasant and safer shopping, with less pressure on public transport."

During the MP's article, he also appealed to local authorities to give retailers more as much flexibility as possible when coming up with opening hours.

He added that supermarkets and shops would be given more wiggle room over delivery times for stock to make sure the roads don't get jammed up during the day.