Easter Opening Hours during Covid-19 Pandemic

06 Apr 2020

It has been announced today that contractors will be required to be open between the hours of 2pm and 5pm on 10 and 13 April (Good Friday and Easter Monday). Normal arrangements will apply for Saturday and Easter Sunday, following existing planned opening protocols.

Pharmacies and shopping malls with no or very little footfall (or other exceptional circumstances) may apply to NHSE&I Regional Team for exemption. There will be additional funding for this, above the contract sum. But NHSE&I have said that payments will be set, as with the rest of the NHS, at a rate which reflects these days not being treated as Bank or Public Holidays, in light of the pandemic.

PSNC and NHSE&I have agreed that that pharmacy contractors will be paid a fee of £250 per hour (£750 each for Good Friday and Easter Monday). These payments will have to be claimed via the Manage Your Service (MYS) portal and further details of this process will be available in due course.

If you would like advice on staff shortages or to discuss individual staff circumstances contact the NPA Employment Advisory Service by telephone: 0330 123 0558 or email: employmentadvice@npa.co.uk


Announcement by NHSE&I
“We would like to thank each and every member of the community pharmacy teams for their significant contribution in supporting their patients and customers, as a vital part of the NHS response to COVID-19, in what we know have been extremely trying circumstances. We know that the NHS as a whole is being pushed well beyond what is normally expected, and that community pharmacies are no exception to that. As part of the very front line of the COVID-19 response in the community, we do not underestimate the work that you do, and we know that patients value the support that you are able to provide.

Things are moving quickly, and as you will understand a crucial phase of the pandemic will be ongoing over what is usually the long Easter weekend but for the NHS more widely this is likely to be an extremely busy time. As an important part of the overall NHS response to the pandemic pharmacies at this crucial time will need to be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

GPs will be open for business as usual on both Good Friday and Easter Monday. In support of this we will need access to NHS pharmaceutical services on these days.

Under the National Health Service (Amendments Relating to the Provision of Primary Care Services During a Pandemic etc.) Regulations 2020 and with agreement of the Secretary of State we are requiring pharmacies in England to open from 2pm to 5pm on 10 April 2020 and 13 April 2020.

Any pharmacy that was planning to open longer hours should still to do so to support access for patients through the day. If you believe your pharmacy is unable to open for reasons beyond the control of the contractor, then you should notify their NHS England and NHS Improvement regional office in the usual way and importantly update the NHS 111 DoS to prevent patients being referred to your pharmacy from NHS 111 when it is not open. Please make sure NHS website profiles include correct opening hours to support patient access.

Community pharmacies in areas where there is minimal demand due to the Government’s social distancing policy (e.g. large shopping malls) should seek exemption from their NHS England and NHS Improvement Regional team.

Contractors will be able to claim a payment over and above the £2,592 million settlement for opening these hours. In line with the fact that this will look like a normal working day for the rest of the NHS, the rate will not reflect a bank or public holiday premium.”

Annoucement as issued by NHSE&I on Friday 3 April 2020

In case you missed it:

You may also find the following NHS COVID-19 Primary Care bulletin useful as a reminder of three additional important communications that have been published in the last 24 hours, including an:

– Update on the Government’s shielding policy and implications for general practice
– Updated guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE)
– Urgent request for GPs to support NHS 111

Read the NHS’s Primary Care bulletin


NPA Support

In response to this, the NPA’s Pharmacy Services Team will be on hand to support you on Good Friday and Easter Monday as part of our ongoing COVID-19 response in order to support our members through these difficult times.


Pharmacy Services – Easter 2020 opening hours:

Good Friday – Friday 10 April
1pm – 5pm

Saturday 11 April
9am – 1pm (open as usual)

Easter Monday – Monday 13 April