Why today is a bank holiday in the UK, and how post and shop … – iNews

Beyond the opportunity for presents and festive feasting, for many people the most welcome part of Christmas is simply getting a few days off work.
This is the case particularly in years like this when Christmas Day falls at the weekend, giving many people in the UK an extended long weekend to enjoy.
The bank holidays can also bring disruption, however, with everything from Royal Mail deliveries to supermarket opening times affected – here’s everything you need to know.
Usually, the whole of the UK gets three bank holidays during the festive period.
These are on Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day (1 January) – Scotland then gets an additional day off on 2 January.
However, when these dates fall on a weekend, the holidays are moved to substitute days to ensure people don’t miss out, which tends to result in a bumper long weekend for celebrations.
This year, both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fell on Sunday, so these dates were moved, with Boxing Day marked as normal and Tuesday 27 December designated as the Christmas Day holiday.
It means that the UK-wide festive bank holidays are as follows:
Because the bank holiday on 2 January clashes with the usual date of Scotland’s additional day off, this will be moved to Tuesday 3 January.
Royal Mail delivers and collects mail on most days of the year, including Saturdays, but not on bank holidays.
This means there was no post not only on Boxing Day, but also on Tuesday 27 December, as the substitute bank holiday for Christmas Day.
With strikes affecting deliveries before Christmas Day, it means that when regular post resumes on Wednesday 28 December, many people will receive their mail for the first time since Thursday 22 December.
There will also be no collections or deliveries on Monday 2 January, due to that being a substitute bank holiday for New Year’s Day.
Bank holidays can also disrupt shop opening times – here’s the key information on when supermarkets are open today.
Tesco: Opening hours depend on the size of store.
Opening hours may also vary by store location. You can find out your local store’s opening hours at Tesco’s store locator here.
Sainsbury’s: Like Tesco, Sainsbury’s store opening hours depend on the size of the shop.
Opening hours may vary by location, so check the store locator for the latest details.
Morrisons Most Morrisons stores should be open from 7am to 10pm on Tuesday.
You can check your local Morrisons store’s opening hours here, as they may vary.
Asda: Many Asda stores will be open from 8am to 8pm on Tuesday.
Asda advises that times vary across their supermarkets and to check your local store’s opening hours. You can do that here.
Aldi: Most Aldi stores will be open from 8am to 8pm on Tuesday.
Aldi advises that opening hours may vary, so check your local store’s opening hours here.
Lidl: Most Lidl stores will be open from 7am to 10pm on Tuesday.
Lidl encourages customers to check the opening times of their nearest store using the store locator here.
Waitrose: Most Waitrose supermarkets will be open from 8am to 6pm on Tuesday.
Bank holiday dates slightly across the UK: England and Wales always have the same bank holidays, but Scotland and Northern Ireland have some of their own dates.
For example, Scotland’s summer bank holiday falls at the start of August, rather than the end of the month.
All four nations used to mark the same date, following the implementation of the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, introduced by the Liberal politician, Sir John Lubbock.
However, the date for England, Wales and Northern Ireland moved permanently to the end of August in 1971, following a trial period which started in 1965.
Just as in 2022, next year the bank holidays are augmented by a significant royal event, as all UK nations mark the coronation of King Charles III in May.
For the first time since 2019, both Christmas Day and Boxing Day will be marked with bank holidays on the correct days, after falling on the weekend for three years in a row.
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