By staff and wire reports
Posted at 9:28 AM
WARSAW, Poland — Polish President Andrzej Duda has signed into law a bill that largely limits trade on Sundays, saying it will benefit family life.
The legislation, worked out by the conservative government and the Solidarity trade union, is expected to draw protests from large Western supermarket chains that are the main target of the law. A large part of their profit is earned on weekends.
As of March 1, shops and markets will be closed on two Sundays per month; in 2019 only one Sunday a month will be open for shopping; and starting in 2020, there will be no Sunday shopping, with a few exceptions.
Duda praised the law on Tuesday as giving children a chance to be with parents and giving shop workers some needed time off.
Laws preventing shopping on Sundays – known in the United States as “blue laws” – were once a standard feature of Christian-majority countries through the mid-20th century. By limiting secular activities, the laws were designed to promote Sundays as a day of rest and church attendance. But by the late 20th century, most countries, as well as most U.S. states, had removed blue laws from their books.
Even today, however, many states still have restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales.