Most shops will be closed tomorrow, Good Friday, and many will be closed on Easter Sunday as well. The law which passed in November last year, allowed local councils to set their own rules about which shops can open on Easter Sunday. If your local council has approved shopping that day, you will be able to shop.
However, businesses which have decided to open on Easter Sunday cannot force an employee to work that day. Workers must have a choice.
Good Friday is one of the most important days in the Christian calendar and for that reason, shops were traditionally closed. Even today, the law says shops must close on Good Friday. The other days when shops are closed by law are Christmas Day and the morning of ANZAC day, April 25th.
Certain shops are allowed to open for emergency supplies. Those include pharmacies, dairies, and petrol stations. However, in tourist areas, councils have been able to make their own laws in recent years. They knew that tourists need shops and shops need tourists. Now there are more areas where councils can make their own decisions.
In the past, some garden shops have chosen to open every day during the Easter break because they know that people have time to garden during a holiday. However, these shops have paid a fine of $1,000 for each day they open when the law says they should be closed. This year, local councils may allow them to open legally.
Listen also to March 28 2016 to hear about the law on Easter shopping last year.
• to set their own rules – to make their own rules (set means establish)
• to approve (v), approval (n) – to say ‘yes’ to something
• pharmacy (n) – a chemist shop where people can get their medicines
• Easter break (n) – holiday a break from work
• a fine (n) – a financial punishment by law courts, you pay money
• legally (adv) – by law