Govt drops opening hours restrictions in run-up to Christmas
Rules on shop opening hours have been ditched in the run-up to Christmas, the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce said today.
Now all stores — of whatever size — will be able to open between 9am and 9pm on Sundays between now and Christmas — and the City of Hamilton has waived parking charges on Friday afternoon and Saturday.
Chamber of Commerce retail division chairman Paula Clarke said it was hoped that new legislation would end restrictions on store opening hours permanently.
Ms Clarke added: “We are delighted that the Ministry of Economic Development has granted us a waiver to the Public Holidays Act 1947 to allow stores of any size, Island-wide, to open as they wish between the hours of 9am and 9pm on all three Sundays leading up to Christmas.
“Furthermore, we would like thank the city for forgoing their parking fees to allow shoppers the opportunity to ‘Buy Bermuda’ in comfort and convenience this weekend.
“It is our hope that this added incentive early in December will encourage shoppers to come into the city to complete their shopping before the last-minute rush.
“We acknowledge that the holidays can be fraught with challenges and having just one less thing to worry about is a really nice way of saying thank you to our customers.”
The free parking scheme will operate between 2pm and 6pm tomorrow and between 8am and 6pm on Saturday.
Stores will be free to open on Sundays, December 8, 15 and 22.
Ms Clarke added that late night shopping will also be available in Hamilton until 9pm on Fridays every Friday until Christmas.
She said: “There are just so many great reasons to shop in Bermuda this Christmas. Our stores are crammed with great holiday gift-giving ideas and amazing bargains and the city has arranged for hours of festive entertainment each Friday night now leading up to the 25th.”
Ms Clarke added that — although the easing of opening hour restrictions is temporary — it was hoped that Government would cut restrictions on stores’ hours before the end of the year.
She said: “While the details of the proposed legislative changes are not yet known, it is hoped that once amended, the Act will minimise regulatory oversight of the industry, thus allowing merchants to operate according to public demand.”
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