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Public Holidays Act

Published: 1954

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Public Holidays (CAP. 354 1




Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.
2. Days noted in Schedule to be kept as publ ic~l idays .
3. Provisions where day of notice of dishonour or presen-

tation falls on a holiday.
4. No persons obliged to make payment, etc., on holidays.
5. Power to appoint special public holidays and to change

day for a public holiday.
6. Exceptions.
7. Provision for opening of shops and stores.
8. Penalty for opening on public holidays.
9. Bank holiday construed as public holiday.



1. This Act may be cited as the Public Holidays Act. Short

2. The several days in the Schedule (which days are f,";,"dg:
hereinafter referred to as public holidays), shall be kept as kept as public
close holidays in all banks, shops or stores where goods are holidays.
sold, and at the several public offices in Antigua and Barbuda,
and all bills of exchange and promissory notes which are
due and payable on any such public holiday shall be payable


2 CAP. 354) Public Holidays

Provisions where
day of notice of
dishonour or
presentation falls
on a holiday.

and, in case of non-payment, may be noted and protested
on the next following day, and not on any public holiday;
and any such noting or protest shall be as valid as if made
on the day on which the bill or note was made due and
payable; and for all the purposes of this Act the day next
following a public holiday shall mean the next following day
on which a bill of exchange may be lawfully noted or

3. When the day on which any notice of dishonour
of any unpaid bill of exchange or promissory note should
be given, or when the day on which a bill of exchange or
promissory note should be presented or received for accept-
ance, or accepted, or forwarded to any referee or referees,
is a public holiday. such notice of dishonour shall be given , , "
and such bill of exchange or promissory note shall be
presented or forwarded on the day next following such public

No persons
obliged to make

4. NO person shall be compellable to make any pay-
payment, etc., ,,,, ment or to do any act upon such public holidays, which he
hoiidays. would not be compellable to do or make on Christmas Day

or Good Friday; and the obligation to make such
and do such act shall apply to the day following such public
holiday, and the making of such payment and doing such
act on such following day shall be equivalent to payment
of the money or performance of the act on the holiday.

Power to appoint 5 . It shall be lawful for the Governor-General with
special public
holidays and to the advice of the Cabinet to issue a proclamation-
change day for
public holiday.

(a) appointing a special day or part of a day to

be reserved as a public holiday throughout Antigua and
Barbuda, and any day or part of aVday so appointed
shall be kept as a close holiday in all banks, shops, stores
and public offices aforesaid in Antigua and Barbuda,
and shall, as regards bills of exchange and promissory
notes be deemed to be a public holiday for all purposes
of this Act;

(b) when it is made to appear to him in any special
case that in any year it is inexpedient that a day by
this Act appointed a public holiday should be a public
holiday, declaring that such day shall not in such year
be a public holiday, and appointing such other day as


Public Holidays (CAP. 354 3

to him may seem fit to be a public holiday, instead of
such day, and thereupon the day so appointed shall in
such year be substituted for the day originally appointed
by this Act.

6. Nothing in this Act shall- Exceptions.
( a ) prevent the opening of a drug store or drug

shop on a public holiday in case of necessity for making
up prescriptions and supplying drugs;

( b ) be deemed to prohibit the opening of any public
market or the sale at any place of any article of food
or drink up to the hour of nine o'clock in the morning;

(c ) prevent the opening on a public holiday of any
petrol station for the sale of gasolene, oil or motor
accessories, or of any garage for the purpose of effect-
ing emergency repairs to motor vehicles.

7. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act the ~ ; ; ~ ~ ~ o ~ h O P s
Governor-General, with the advice of the Cabinet, may from and stores.
time to time, by order published in the Gazette permit attp
class of shop or store specified in such order to be kept open
on a public holiday for the sale of any article in Antigua
and Barbuda or any part thereof during such hours and sub-
ject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by
such order.

8. Any person who keeps open any bank, shop, store Penalty for
opening an or public office in contravention of the provisions of this Act,

or fails to comply with the provisions of any order made
under section 7 shall be liable on summary conviction to a
penalty not exceeding three thousand dollars.

9. Any reference in any Act or subsidiary legislation ;;Z:~::",,Y
to a bank holiday shall be construed as a reference to a public public holiday.
holiday under this Act.


Z CAP. 354) Public Holidays


The first day of January in each year.

If the above mentioned day falls on a Sunday the next follow-
ing Monday shall be a public holiday.

Boxing Day-that is the day after Christmas Day, but if
Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, then the next follow-
ing Monday shall be a public holiday, and if Christmas
Day falls on a Sunday, then the next following Monday
and Tuesday shall be public holidays.

Easter Monday.

Labour Day (the first Monday in May).

Whit Monday.

Caribbean Community (Caricom) Day, being the first
Monday of July in each year.

The first Monday in August.

The first day of November in each year.

Note: Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday are observed
as Common Law Holidays.