Sunday shopping ban on the table again

Opinions of ruling coalition parties as well as stores differ over the ban.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

People stormed shops after the COVID-19 virus pandemic hit Slovakia in mid-March, accompanied by the closing of restaurants, hotels and many factories. In fear of what would happen and how long self-quarantine would last, they were buying pasta, rice, flour, canned food, bottled water and other groceries in bulk, leaving shelves empty. To reduce pressure on shops, the newly appointed cabinet of Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) declared on Sunday a sanitary day and ordered the closing of shops this day. It promised to lift the ban immediately after the emergency situation is over.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

However, Matovič later changed his mind and now he would like to keep shops closed on Sunday to enable their employees to spend time with their families. His coalition partner Boris Kollár of Sme Rodina agrees with this idea and Juraj Šeliga of the Za Ľudí party can imagine a compromise, for example, in allowing shops to open until noon on Sundays. Richard Sulík, Economy Minister and head of the SaS party is strictly against arguing that the ban would restrict people’s freedom, harm the economy and stop people from earning extra money.

“Let’s not hinder people against doing what they want, whether going to church or shopping,” said Sulík for the TV Joj, adding that Sunday work surcharges are very high and many people want to work on Sundays.

SkryťRemove ad

While the coalition is discussing the ban, opposition parties – the former ruling Smer and the extremist ĽSNS – have submitted to parliament two draft bills banning Sunday shopping. Parliament will deal with them on June

More shopping days after the Velvet Revolution

Related article Shops will be closed on all national holidays Read more 

The initial pressure to close shops on other days arose during the reign of Robert Fico (Smer). His cabinets extended the list of holidays that closed shops firstly in 2008. Then it was further extended. Since 2017 shops have been closed a total of 15.5 national holidays. Smer would have liked to have seen shops closed on Sundays, but economic prosperity and people’s appetite for shopping did not work in its favour.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

Helfried Carl

Democracy delivers, experience from local politics shows

Thirteen cities compete to become the European Capital of Democracy. People from Slovakia can now become jurors to choose the winner.

24. nov

Which are the largest law firms in Slovakia?

Comprehensive Analyses of Law Firms and Lawyers in Slovakia

28. nov
Doctor Karel Koch

Meet Karel Koch, founder of Bratislava’s Koch Sanatorium

The fate of this famed doctor included a stellar medical career, but also political persecution.

25. nov
SkryťClose ad