Stores larger than 200 square meters will close at noon on December 24 and remain closed for two days after that. The law which came into effect last year, aims to make the Christmas period less about commerce and more about the holiday spirit, allowing people to slow down and spend time with their families.
Not all stores are affected by the bill, of course. Pharmacies, gas stations, airport shops do not come under the legislation.
Hamley’s toy store on Na Příkopě will be closed all day December 24. Furniture stores IKEA and Kika will also be closed that day. Electronics e-shop Alza.cz will open its main Prague shop in Holešovice December 26 for pickups and returns of items. The store maintains that since the sales take place online that opening the store for pickups does not violate the law.
The law also includes New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, Liberation Day, the day of Czech Statehood Day on Sept. 28 and Independent Czechoslovak State Day on October 28.
As for those, who open their doors in violation of the law? Fines can go up to one million crowns, while repeat offenders risk paying five times that amount.