2020 Early May Bank Holiday change affects pharmacy opening requirements

2020 Early May Bank Holiday change affects pharmacy opening requirements

July 16, 2019

The Government announced last month that it is pushing back next year’s Early May Bank Holiday by a few days to Friday 8th May 2020. The move has been made to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Victory in Europe (VE) Day, which formally marked the end of World War II.

Community pharmacies do not have to open on days which are specifically mentioned in the Regulations or a day which has been specifically designated as a ‘bank holiday’ (such as 8th May 2020), unless directed to open by their local NHS England team. On those days, the hours that the pharmacy would ordinarily have been open will be treated as having been open for the purpose of counting the core contractual hours that week (i.e. there is no requirement to make up those hours on other days).

In practice this means that next year community pharmacies must open on 4th May 2020 for their usual Monday opening hours, but are permitted to be closed on Friday 8th May without giving notice or applying to change their core hours.

Other days in 2020 when all NHS community pharmacies in England will not be required to open (unless otherwise directed by their local NHS England team) are as follows:

  • New Year’s Day (1st January 2020)
  • Good Friday (10th April 2020)
  • Easter Sunday (12th April 2020)
  • Easter Monday (13th April 2020)
  • Early May Bank Holiday/ Victory in Europe Day (8th May 2020)
  • Spring Bank Holiday (25th May 2020)
  • Summer Bank Holiday (31st August 2020)
  • Christmas Day (25th December 2020)
  • Boxing Day* (28th December 2020)

*If a bank holiday falls on a weekend, a ‘substitute’ weekday becomes the bank holiday, usually the following Monday. In 2020, Boxing Day is a Saturday so the designated bank holiday is Monday 28th December 2020. This means that any pharmacy that normally opens on a Saturday would still have to open as usual on Boxing Day, unless they have been granted permission to close by their local NHS England team.

PSNC’s annual opening hours factsheet provides contractors with a quick reference guide on which public and bank holidays pharmacies can close without giving notice. Our 2020 factsheet has just been published:

Pharmacy opening hours factsheet (2020)



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