Irish government considering 'alcohol curfew' for remainder of lockdown 3 months ago

Irish government considering 'alcohol curfew' for remainder of lockdown

"What we could potentially do is ban the sale of all alcohol after a certain point of time in the day"

Ireland may soon face a curfew on buying alcohol, with its government in talks to make a few changes around the sale of drink over lockdown.

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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said on Irish radio station Newstalk that the Cabinet is focusing on street drinking and sales of alcohol during the country's Level 5 restrictions.

Level 5 restrictions operate much the same way as the UK's national lockdowns, with visits to different homes, hospitality and non-essential shops prohibited.

"We're working on new public health regulations that strengthen the law in this regard around drinking alcohol in public streets, and that will give the Gardaí more powers of enforcement," he said.

"When it comes to selling takeaway alcohol, that's not illegal - anybody who's getting their takeaway [...] you can get your bottle of wine or bottle of beer with that, nobody wants to ban that.

"A lot of people are going to be relying on takeaways for the next couple of weeks."

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The issue, according to Varadkar, is less around the sale of alcohol in shops and and more around pubs selling takeaway pints on the street. "I seems that the publicans kind of get around this by serving a pint and putting a lid on it - and that's not on," he said.

"We don't want to have to shut down the off licenses or shut down the pubs and say 'you can't sell bottles of beer or you can't sell cans for people to take home."

The potential change, he said, would make sure less people are drinking in the streets and gathering outside. "We're certainly going to further enforce the existing ban of people drinking outdoors in public streets," he added.

"What we could potentially do is ban the sale of all alcohol after a certain point of time in the day. It's that type of thing that we're looking at."