U.K. to loosen restrictions on Sunday shopping during this summer's Olympics in London; by law, large stores in England, Wales may be open for only six hours on Sundays

LONDON , March 19, 2012 () – Britain's Treasury chief says he is planning to loosen restrictions on Sunday trading during this summer's London Olympics.

By law, large stores in England and Wales can only open for six hours on Sundays, but Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says restrictions will be lifted during the Olympic and Paralympic games.

He said Sunday that with hundreds of thousands of people visiting Britain for the sports extravaganza, "it would be a great shame ... if the country had a 'closed for business' sign on it."

Opposition Labour Party treasury spokesman Ed Balls says he wouldn't want to see the change become permanent.

The 2012 London Olympics run July 27-Aug. 12 and the Paralympics Aug. 29-Sept. 9.

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