Sun | Nov 17, 2019

No SOE Grinch - Business hours to be extended for Christmas shopping

Published:Wednesday | October 16, 2019 | 1:54 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
A shirt wrapped around a light post in the violence-pronce community of Farm in Clarendon in June in memory of a deceased resident of the area.
A shirt wrapped around a light post in the violence-pronce community of Farm in Clarendon in June in memory of a deceased resident of the area.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says parishes currently under a state of emergency (SOE) will see more relaxed business hours in a few weeks to facilitate increased commercial activity associated with the Christmas season.

“The end of November – or even before that – we will put in place the special provision to ensure that the SOEs operate throughout December without affecting what people have grown accustomed to in the enjoyment of the season,” Holness said.

“It is the intention of the Government to ensure that by the Christmas period, by the first week in December, the closing times are adjusted accordingly to allow for people to enjoy the season. It is not the intention of the Government to take away the enjoyment from the people,” he said.

The prime minister was yesterday speaking in the House of Representatives as he concluded the debate for the extension of the SOEs.

The issue of the business hours was raised by a member of the Opposition.

The SOE in the parishes of St James, Hanover and Westmoreland, which was declared on April 30, was extended until January 27, 2020, after a unanimous vote by 47 members of parliament present yesterday. The security initiative was set to expire on October 28.

The House voted in a similar manner for the extension of the SOE in Clarendon and St Catherine until January 18, 2020. The SOE, which was declared on September 5, was set to expire on October 19.

The St Andrew South SOE, which had been imposed on July 7 and was set to expire on October 5, was previously extended for 90 days.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com