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Government to consider measures around alcohol sales; drinking alcohol on public streets and sale of alcohol after a certain time may be prohibited

DUBLIN: Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that the government is looking into measures related to the sale of alcohol. Mr. Varadkar said that the government was considering banning the sale of alcohol after a certain period of time and strengthening the law on drinking alcohol in public streets.

Introducing the law on drinking alcohol in public streets will give Gardai more powers of enforcement.

Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheal Martin warned publicans to “forget about takeaway pints” as part of new public health restrictions. It was after the comments made by Taoiseach, Mr. Varadkar said the government is working on new public health regulations.

However, in response to Martin’s comment, Tánaiste said that the ban on takeaway pints could not actually be done. “People say takeaway points are a problem; ban them. You can’t actually just do that. You’d have to ban all takeaway alcohol and that would create problems for restaurants and takeaways who really need that business now and also off-licences too,” the Tanaiste said.

“When it comes to selling takeaway alcohol, that’s not illegal – anybody who’s getting their takeaway … you can get your bottle of beer or bottle of wine with that, nobody wants to ban that,” Mr. Varadkar said. “A lot of people are going to be relying on takeaways for the next couple of weeks,” he added.

“So what we could potentially do is ban the sale of all alcohol after a certain point of time in the day. It is that type of thing that we’re looking at,” Tanaiste said.

Meanwhile, Vintners’ Federation of Ireland said: “No change to guidelines despite what Micheál Martin says. All publicans must adhere to guidelines/laws but off sales are permitted.”

Businesses such as pubs and restaurants have been warned to stay closed until the end of March. Click and collect will be also stopped for non-essential shops.

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