In a ministerial statement, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick shared an update.
He said councils should “not undertake planning enforcement action which would result in the unnecessary restriction of retail hours”.
He added planning authorities should take on the temporary relaxation to retail opening hours and said “they can take advantage of longer opening hours if they wish to do so”.
Doing this could help cut back on the number of people entering stores at one time and help promote social distancing.
When branches do reopen, it is likely there will be safety measures in place such as sanitising stations and perspex screens at till points.
There may also be limits on how many customers are permitted in stores leading to possible queues outside some retailers.
“The National Planning Policy Framework already emphasises the planning enforcement is a discretionary activity and local planning authorities should act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control.”
Non-essential retailers have often been among the first to close when national lockdowns have been put into place.
This has meant many Britons have had to rely on online shopping to buy items such as clothing and homeware.
Stores in Scotland could start to reopen from April 26, with non-essential retail already open again in Wales.
In England, these branches could open on April 12, along with gyms, hairdressers and barbers.
Bars and restaurants are also expected to reopen for outdoor seating online.
All dates for the “roadmap” out of lockdown should be confirmed the week before it is set to go ahead.