Pointe Xpress: Antiguans and Barbudans are in for a long break next weekend as the Christmas holidays approach. The Cabinet decided on Wednesday that it will ask the Governor General to declare Monday 28th December a public holiday. This is because December 26, Boxing Day, will fall on a Saturday this year.
Cabinet’s request has effectively extended the holiday weekend from Christmas day, which falls on a Friday this year, to Monday, December 28. Cabinet spokesman, Melford Nicholas clarified that the law only addresses what happens when Boxing Day falls on Sunday but is silent regarding what happens when it falls on Saturday.
Under those circumstances, the Cabinet took the decision that it would ask the GG to issue a proclamation declaring December 28 a public holiday. Nicholas also addressed the close of business activities on Christmas Eve.
“The Cabinet reiterated its policy, embedded in law, to bring an end to all commercial activity on Christmas Eve at 8:00 pm. Only essential services may continue past that hour. Gasoline stations and pharmacies are the essential services that may go beyond 8:00 pm,” he explained. Churches are allowed to continue their worship services past midnight on Christmas Eve and Old Year’s night but must end in time to allow worshipers to return home by 1:00 am.
“Private parties are limited to ten persons only and are to end before 1:00 am on Old Year’s night/New Year’s Day. Beaches are open on the holidays for limited hours from 5:00 am to 1:00 pm on the three holidays that are on the calendar, to wit: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Some consideration is being given to expanding the hours to maybe 3:00 pm,” he stated.
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