Tallinn's Crusade Against Alcohol Hard to Swallow for Shops and Hotels ({{commentsTotal}})

Suur-Karja street in Tallinn's Old Town, a prime drinking hotspot, is usually packed with partiers on summer nights. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Traders and hotel owners are skeptical of a plan by the Health Committee of the Tallinn City Council to ban selling alcohol in the city on Sundays and institute restrictions on shops within a 300-meter radius of schools and kindergartens.

Deputy Mayor Merike Martinson said the limits would reduce the sale of strong alcohol, while Katrin Bats, a spokesman for the Rimi supermarket chain, said people will begin to hoard more alcohol in their homes, leading to an increase in consumption.

“Any sort of restrictions in the current tourism business climate, where the number of people arriving from neighboring states is dropping, is not justified,” Verni Loodmaa, head of a union of hotels and restaurants, said.

Although the city is yet to perform any research, the 300-meter alcohol-free zones would be tough on shops and hotels which sell alcohol as there are many small kindergartens and schools all around the city, and the majority of the city center would fall under the zones, as a geoape.com map demonstrates.

The package of restrictions and bans would also limit restaurant and bar opening hours on Sunday to midnight.

The committee is currently drawing up a bill for the city council to vote on.

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