Home/FIVS Alerts/Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 13 August 2020

Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Policy Developments Around the World – 13 August 2020


We would like to share the following items, which describe the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on the industry.

Check out our page on the FIVS website that offers news of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our industry around the world. We are updating this webpage as new information becomes available.


Do alcohol beverages increase risk for COVID-19? – Two doctors interviewed for this article reportedly argue that consumption of alcohol beverages can make individuals more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 by weakening immune systems, increasing risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome, and affecting quality of sleep. They conclude that individuals should drink no more than one to two drinks per day and that individuals with any preexisting medical conditions should avoid alcohol beverages entirely.

Government assistance

France – The Prime Minister of France has reportedly announced that 80 million euros will be disbursed in support of winegrowers, asking that the aid be distributed as quickly as possible. An aid plan of 170 million euros was released in May 2020 by the previous Prime Minister.

Easing up

India – The 863 liquor stores in Delhi may reportedly now stay open from 10 am until 10 pm, one hour later than has been permitted. An official reportedly noted that this step would allow government revenues to increase.

Kenya – Kenya’s Minister of Health reportedly announced that alcohol beverages can now be served in private rooms of hotels, but a draft document reported by a Kenyan newspaper indicated that the government might ban the sale of alcohol to sit-in customers in restaurants, bars, food courts, entertainment venues, supermarkets, and wine and spirits stores.

South Africa – South Africa’s Health Minister has reportedly confirmed that the Cabinet may consider relaxing shutdown rules in the near future. Distell has issued a statement indicating that it is “working together with government” to reopen the alcohol beverage trade safely.

United States – Georgia’s governor has reportedly signed legislation allowing stores and some restaurants to deliver beer, spirits, and wine to homes. Georgia’s Department of Revenue must write regulations for home delivery before stores can begin making deliveries, which could take several months.

Shutting down

Australia – The Victorian premier has reportedly announced new stage four restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne to bring community transmission of COVID-19 under control. Restaurants and cafes will be allowed only to offer takeaway and delivery services. Bottle shops will be allowed to offer takeaway services, but pubs, bars, and nightclubs will be closed.

Ireland – In a letter reportedly related to the Irish government’s decision not to move to Phase 4 as originally planned, the National Public Health Emergency Team reportedly warned the Irish government that alcohol makes people less aware of social distancing, recommending that pubs, bars, and hotel bars remain closed. The government has decided not to move ahead to Phase 4 for at least three more weeks.

Spain – Due to the high incidence of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has reportedly decided to restrict the entry and exit of people in Aranda de Duero for at least fourteen days, limiting private gatherings to ten people in all public and private spaces and suspending all club activities.

United Kingdom – After 54 positive COVID-19 tests were traced to a number of bars and clubs in Aberdeen, the Scottish government reportedly announced that the city would be placed under lockdown. Among other restrictions, the government ordered the closure of indoor and outdoor hospitality venues, including pubs, cafes, and restaurants. The First Minister reportedly found images of mass crowds in bars and restaurants with little or no physical distancing upsetting. See also this article, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggests a trade-off between opening Britain’s schools and closing pubs and restaurants.