Late night alcohol sales ban extended by one month

A bartender making a cocktail.
A bartender making a cocktail. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The government on Thursday decided to extend the country-wide ban on late-night alcohol sales by one month until November 24 to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said while the spread of the coronavirus is stabilizing with the help of the current restrictions, the threat has yet to pass, which is why the government deems it warranted to continue the ban, spokespeople for the government said.

The government also deems it necessary to strengthen supervision over compliance with the ban, which is conducted by local governments and other relevant institutions. The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) have discovered numerous ways in which people are attempting to circumvent the restrictions. 

"These rules have been introduced to protect our health and the health of our next of kin, and they need to be complied with. By circumventing the restrictions, we only boost the spread of the infection," Ratas said.

The prime minister added that if circumvention of the ban continues, the government will have no other option but to weigh imposing further restrictions on restaurants and entertainment venues selling alcohol. 

"Even though there are only a few individual entrepreneurs circumventing the restriction, the impact of their actions on the spread of the virus and other law-abiding entrepreneurs may be significant," he said.

A country-wide ban on the late-night sale of alcohol took effect in Estonia on September 25. Due to the threat of the coronavirus spreading extensively in the state remains high, the government has decided to extend the ban by one month until November 24. The government will reassess the need for the ban at least ten days before the ban's expiration. 

The restriction means that from midnight until 10 a.m. alcohol sales are forbidden at all venues that sell alcohol for consumption at the venue, such as restaurant, bars and nightclubs.

The ban does not apply to aircraft used for international passenger carriage, or to points of sale at international airport and port security areas. The ban also does not apply to consumption of alcohol at accommodation establishments from minibars and during breakfast.

The government's decisions regarding the country-wide ban on the sale of alcohol are based on the positions of the Health Board and the government's scientific advisory council.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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