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Bars and boats get Sunday nod

Community Notices 10 Nov, 2022 Follow News

Party boats will soon operate on Sundays

Owners of small bars and boats will soon be allowed musical entertainment on Sundays thanks to a new law.

Cabinet has approved the Music and Dancing (Control) Amendment Bill, 2022 to give equal economic opportunities to owners of stand-alone bars and sea-going vessels on Sundays. The Amendment Bill was published in the Legislation Gazette on November 4.

At present, licensed stand-alone retail bars and sea-going vessels are restricted from playing background music on a Sunday. Owners appealed to the Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce, claiming they were losing out economically to restaurants and hotels on Sundays who are able to attract local and foreign clientele.

However, if passed by Parliament, the Amendment Bill will ensure the bars and boats, which hold valid licences, are able to operate too on Sundays. The Amendment Bill defines the bars which hold a liquor licence as those not located in a hotel and restaurant. This includes community and cultural venues that operate bars when hosting profit-generating community events as well as music, dance and drama performances. Boats that hold liquor as well as music and dancing licences must be judged seaworthy by the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands.

André Ebanks, Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, said: “The Ministry consulted with local business owners and relevant public and private sector stakeholders in the preparation of this Amendment Bill. We were mindful of the potential added duties this may place on our enforcement agencies and the concerns raised by the local religious community.

“Ultimately, this Amendment Bill is intended to cause minimal disruption on Sundays, by allowing activity that is already taking place in the restaurant and hotel sectors to be extended to stand-alone bars and sea-going vessels. This will help to create a more level playing field and enable these sectors to generate additional revenue lawfully.”

Hotels and restaurants are licenced from 9am-11:59pm while stand-alone bars and sea-going vessels will open from 11am-11:59pm. The Bill stipulates that music in bars should be of a low, background nature and not heard outside the premises where it is played. Boats must be at least a half mile out to sea before music can be played.

Minister Ebanks will present the Amendment Bill at the next sitting of Parliament the week of December 5.

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