Shops can now open their doors for business at 8am on a Sunday as part of new holiday trading laws.

The new liquor licensing rules that allow for the sale of alcohol on a Sunday grabbed most of the limelight when the changes were implemented at the beginning of the year.

But the amendment to the Public Holidays Act 1947 also permits shops to open earlier than 1pm for the first time.

And already one supermarket, Harrington Hundreds, has taken advantage of the new legislation.

The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the change in Sunday opening hours.

Joanne MacPhee, executive director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce lobbied hard over almost two years for changes to the Public Holidays Act, 1947, in an effort to remove restrictions which legislated that larger stores, over 2,500 square feet, could only open between the hours of 1pm and 6pm on Sundays and other Public Holidays.

Delighted

“We were therefore delighted when the Ministry of Economic Development passed the Public Holidays Amendment Bill 2013 through the House on December 13th, 2013.  

 “In accordance with the Amendment, which has since been passed into Law, all restrictions have been lifted and now stores of any size may open at any time on Sundays and other Public Holidays, with exception of Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  

 “We know that some of our smaller members have already started taking advantage of the revised legislation and we anticipate that more will follow in the lead up to the summer season.

Opportunities

 “While Harrington Hundreds is not a member of the Chamber, we are pleased that our significant efforts are translating into improved new opportunities for the often-beleaguered retail industry and creating additional consumer demand.”