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Most Shopping Malls To Stay Open On Sundays Despite Restrictions

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2015.03.04.

A growing number of shopping malls across the country are deciding to remain open on Saturdays to enable cinemas, restaurants and other retail units complying with regulations to operate despite the general ban on Sunday retail activity following 15 March, the Hungarian Council of Shopping Centres (MBSZ) said on Wednesday.
Shopping malls deciding to remain open on Sundays will enable the operation of restaurants, cafés and retail units not falling under the scope of the ban, i. e. having an area smaller than 200 square metres and counting the owner or a family helper as its shopkeeper, the federation said. The federation added that four out  of the eight Budapest malls which do not have a cinema will remain on Sundays in addition to six out of the nine shopping centres without a cinema outside the capital. The total number of shopping malls is 22 in Budapest and a further 28 outside the capital.
The federation expects large crowds on Saturdays in shopping malls as a result of the government’s Sunday retail ban and disclosed that a number of malls are considering lengthening opening hours, primarily on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, meaning that Budapest malls will generally close at 10 pm instead of 9 pm and those in the countryside at 9 pm instead of 8 pm. The interest group maintains that the law restricting retail activity on Sundays is detrimental to the economy and trade, fails to protect retailers and employees and is inconvenient to shoppers.
Parliament adopted legislation on declaring Sundays a day of rest for retail employees on 16 December last year. The law includes several exceptions, such as the possibility for stores to remain open on Sundays in the Advent period and a freely chosen Sunday. Additionally, stores with a floor area below 200 square metres will pe permitted to remain open on the last day of the week, but only the owner or a family member will be allowed to work in them.