Corner stores and gas station convenience stores can now open legally on Sundays after Cabinet officially amended the Sunday Trading Law.
The amendment, dated May 15, adds small convenience stores to the list of businesses exempt from the ban on operating on Sundays. Government decided to make the relatively minor change after rejecting the concept of turning Sunday into a regular trading day, following consultation with businesses and the public.
The order legitimizes the Sunday opening of “retail businesses involved primarily in the sale of food items and beverages, where such an establishment is less than 4,000 square feet.”
Many such businesses were opening on Sunday anyway, despite the prohibition. Pharmacies, beauty salons and tourism-based businesses are among a long list of businesses already exempt from the ban on Sunday trading.
Speaking at a Legislative luncheon in November, Premier Alden McLaughlin said the government had decided to “regularize trading so that the retailers currently operating in violation of the law will be made legal.”
He said a wider relaxation of the laws was considered but rejected.
“We heard the misgivings from the business community, church leaders and private residents who did not want a wholesale opening of Sunday sales, but we also realized that we must ensure that those who have been providing essential goods and services on Sunday are able to do so legally,” he added.