I see lots of people complaining that the police in Cayo went around forcing the closure of stores because of the national holiday. It seems it is, in fact, against the law for stores to be open on such holidays but this has been routinely ignored by many, if not most. Stores had been open but police were coming around and forcing people to shut down.
At any rate have a happy "National Heroes & Benefactors Day," which has "officially" replaced Baron Bliss Day the last few years...
Strange since I didn't notice many stores closed in San Pedro. We went about our normal shopping that day, including Super Buy. GoNature was the only store I noticed that was closed. So if it's a law, seems like very spotty enforcement. It also seems silly that stores can't determine which holidays they wish to close or open for.
Residents of Cayo municipality protest against the closing of stores on Sundays
Residents are upset in the municipality of San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Over the long holiday weekend shops were closed on Sunday and Monday and no one was able to go grocery shopping. Our investigations have confirmed that the Officer Commanding in that municipality, Supt. Alvan Gentle, has mandated the closure of businesses on Sundays and public and bank holidays, in accordance with the Shop License Act 2000.
Alvan Gentle, Police Superintendent We have been going around, giving people copies of these, which is Section 8 which says that no shop shall be open for the serving of customers on Sundays, except the premises referred to in Section 8:2 Ė barbershops and hair-salons. These are the only places that can be opened on Sundays up to noon. Other places that can be opened are hotels, registered clubs, drug stores and gas stations. So these people are being warned that in fact, come Sunday, my police officers will be around and they will be enforcing the law as it relates to the opening of these shops on Sundays.
A senior manager of the Town Council informed us that the directive did not come from their office and that Supt. Gentle is acting unilaterally. Residents of the municipality are against the closing of shops on Sundays; but a couple of them did say that bars should be closed.
Resident 1 That is not right, because we all need to eat. Many a times, people get paid on Saturdays and they donít have time to go shopping and so they do their shopping on Sundays. I think the shops are supposed to be opened, for instance, if you need medicine. Itís the Chinese stores that are controlling the country partly and you canít go to them and knock on their door to get your medicine and so what will happen to the people then?
The stores shouldnít be closed on Sundays, because people need to go shopping on Sundays, because many persons donít have time on Saturdays since they get paid late and so they can only go shopping on Sundays. What maybe they need to close on Sundays are the bars, because sometime the bars are open and loud up until one in the morning and we canít go to sleep; yet we have to go to work on Mondays.
Other residents felt that the law was outdated for todayís.
Resident 3 I canít believe the law says that shops and other businesses have to be closed on Sundays and I think that cannot work anymore. In todayís society we need every single day of our lives to do some kind of activity.
Resident 4 It is not a wise idea. How will they be closing the stores, which is something important, but they leave the casinos open, when casinos are destroying a lot of homes. These are the things they have to close Ė the casinos, not the stores. Not everyone has money immediately to purchase things and some people donít have refrigerators to put their chickens; they have to buy their chickens on Sunday morning or in the evening.
Town Council officials are presently in conversation with the Police Dept and hope to have the situation ironed out shortly.