Public and bank holiday opening requirements

Public and bank holiday opening requirements

July 23, 2018

Community pharmacy contractors are permitted to close their pharmacies on most public and bank holidays, but there are some exceptions that they should be aware of.

It is important to take note of which days pharmacies can close without giving notice because, 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 meet those hours on other days).

Pharmacies do not have to open on days which are specifically mentioned in the Regulations (namely Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday) or a day which has been specifically designated as a ‘bank holiday’, unless directed to open by their local NHS England team.

Some bank holidays can occasionally cause confusion, for example, if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday then the designated bank holiday would be the Monday. That would mean any pharmacy that normally opens on a Sunday would still have to open as usual on New Year’s Day, unless they have been granted permission to close by their local NHS England team.

For 2019, all NHS community pharmacies in England will not be required to open on the following days (unless otherwise directed by their local NHS England team):

  • New Year’s Day (1st January 2019)
  • Good Friday (19th April 2019)
  • Easter Sunday (21st April 2019)
  • Easter Monday (22nd April 2019)
  • Early May Bank Holiday (6th May 2019)
  • Spring Bank Holiday (27th May 2019)
  • Summer Bank Holiday (26th August 2019)
  • Christmas Day (25th December 2019)
  • Boxing Day (26th December 2019)

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. The factsheet for 2019 was published in the July 2018 CPN and is available to download here.



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