Home/FIVS Alerts/Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 07 October 2020

Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 07 October 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 for more news of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our industry around the world. We are updating the webpage as new information becomes available.


France – The French government is reportedly reclassifying Paris to its maximum alert level for the pandemic, closing all bars in Paris for fifteen days beginning on 06 October 2020. Restaurants and bistros in Paris may stay open if they have new sanitary measures in place, including registering the contact details of customers and closing by 10 p.m. The French Health Minister said last week that 36 percent of intensive care units in Paris now treat COVID-19 patients. The city of Marseille closed all of its bars and restaurants on 26 September.

Greece – Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases, the Greek government banned the sale of alcohol beverages for two weeks in ten regions, including Greece’s capital Athens, from midnight until 5 a.m. in an attempt to prevent crowds from gathering in squares.


Norway – Norway’s Prime Minister has reportedly confirmed that the country will ease its COVID-19 restrictions, including its ban on serving alcohol beverages after midnight, as of 12 October 2020. The government will also allow up to 600 people to gather at outdoor events, but they must maintain social distances of at least one metre and be separated into groups of 200. The ban on serving alcohol after midnight has been in place since 08 August 2020.

South Australia – South Australia has reportedly eased coronavirus restrictions on people drinking alcohol beverages in bars, pubs, and clubs, as well as at private events such as weddings in licensed venues. People are now allowed to drink alcohol beverages while standing up in the outdoor areas of licensed venues; and vertical consumption is also now permitted at private events with defined guest lists.

United States – The Governor of Florida announced that all bars and restaurants throughout the state may reopen immediately, reportedly preventing local municipalities from implementing restrictions that would force them to operate at less than half-capacity.


Japan – The government of Japan is reportedly revising regulations which base taxation of beer on malt content, rather than alcohol content. While the sale of a new genre of beers with low or no malt, which have been taxed at a lower rate, has increased in Japan during the pandemic, overall beer sales in Japan have fallen by 26 percent by volume. New tax regulations would reportedly make some beers more affordable.

South Africa – Wines of South Africa has reportedly urged the South African government to allow the sale of alcohol beverages during weekends. The sale of alcohol beverages in South Africa is currently allowed only between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, which has hurt local wineries, whose sales involve the experience of visiting wine farms.


China – The coronavirus pandemic may have accelerated trends already in place in China, such as drinking at home and the consumption of low alcohol-by-volume products, particularly among Chinese under the age of 25. A recent alcohol beverage consumption report from CBNData reportedly also shows that the traditional sorghum liquor baijiu has surpassed wine during the past year to become the most popular category in China in terms of consumer demographics.