Manitobans can enjoy longer Sunday shopping hours as early as next month, the provincial government announced Thursday.

Labour Minister Jennifer Howard said changes to the Retail Businesses Holiday Closing Act, which governs Sunday and holiday shopping hours, will take effect on Aug. 1.

The change allows municipalities to pass their own bylaws to extend shopping hours on Sundays and some statutory holidays if they want, Howard said in a release.

Manitoba currently has one of the most restrictive retail laws in Canada, with most businesses limited to Sunday hours of 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Starting Aug. 1, retail stores in municipalities that allow for expanded hours can be open at 9 a.m., meaning they would operate for three hours longer than before.

Businesses that open on Sundays would still have to close at 6 p.m.

Expanded shopping hours also apply to Louis Riel Day, Victoria Day and Thanksgiving Day under the changed legislation.

Shopping restrictions remain in place on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day, the province said.