21 Mar 2012

Tonga businesses to close for two days next week as country mourns King

4:29 pm on 21 March 2012

Businesses in Tonga will be closed for two days next week, as the country mourns the late King George Tupou V.

Tongans are now in a one hundred day mourning period for the king who has been succeeded by his brother King Tupou the Sixth.

The Chamber of Commerce's Aloma Johansson says businesses will be closed when the King's body arrives in the Kingdom on Monday, and for his state funeral, on Wednesday.

She says for the rest of the 100 days business will operate almost as normal.

"This is the shortest official mourning period, you know, through the monarchy. Because traditionally, it's always been six months to a year. The late King was very conscious of the fact that people had to go on with their lives, and the economy had to be seen to be not coming to a standstill."

Aloma Johansson says some businesses, like bars, will have toned-down activities.