Stores to close on Easter Monday

The law however does not affect shops on Good Friday

Many stores will close on Easter Monday, which falls on April 2 this year. But on Good Friday, which is also a national holiday they will remain open. Easter Monday has long been a Czech or Czechoslovak holiday. Good Friday just became a holiday in 2016.

A law that took effect at the end of 2016 specifies eight national holidays when stores larger than 200 square meters have to close. Violators of the law can face fines up to Kč 1 million, and some fines have been levied in the past in lesser amounts.

Pharmacies, gas stations, and stores in airports, hospitals and train stations are not included in the law. Stores under 200 square meters, such as local grocery stores, can also remain open. The law also does not apply during a state of emergency or other declared disaster.

Some e-shops have been trying to get around the law by delivering during the holidays, based on the idea that they do not have a shop larger than 200 square meters as defined by the law.

The idea behind the law is to allow workers time to spend with their families.

The Czech Republic has 13 national holidays, so seven holidays are not covered by the requirement to close.

The law concerning the closure of stores covers New Year’s Day (Restoration of the Czech Independence Day) on Jan. 1, Easter Monday (which changes every year), Liberation Day on May 8, Czech Statehood Day (St. Wenceslas Day), Foundation of the Independent Czechoslovak State on Oct. 28, and three Christmas holidays (stores close at noon on Dec. 24 and remain closed on Dec. 25 and 26).

Other holidays such as Good Friday, Labor Day on May 1, Saints Cyril and Methodius Day and Jan Hus Day on July 5 and 6, and Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day on Nov. 17 are not included.

Critics of the law claim there is no logic as to what holidays are included or excluded, and this makes it difficult for people to plan shopping, especially in cities that don't have small convenience stores.

While some countries give compensation days off if a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Czech Republic does not. In 2018, the holidays that fall over the weekend are Sunday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 17.

But the rest of the holiday calendar is pretty good.

New Year’s Day fell on a Monday, starting the year with a three-day weekend. Good Friday to Easter Monday, as usual, creates a four-day weekend from March 30 to April 2. July 5 and 6 fall on a Thursday and Friday, making another four-day weekend. Sept. 28 falls on a Friday, making a three-day weekend.

People hit the jackpot over Christmas, as Dec. 24 is a Monday and the next two days are also holidays, making a five-day weekend.

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