Home/FIVS Alerts/Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 16 September 2020

Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 16 September 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.


Charges of using the pandemic for commercial gain worldwide – A report released by the NCD Alliance and the SPECTRUM Consortium charges that “Big Alcohol, Big Food, and Big Soda” have been leveraging the coronavirus for commercial gain, putting populations at greater risk during the pandemic. The report suggests four strategies are being used including marketing tailored to the pandemic, social responsibility programmes, shaping policy, and fostering partnerships with governments, international agencies, and NGOs. Of the 786 submissions received from 90 countries for the study, 363 concerned activities of the alcohol beverage industry. Examples included a “social distancing cooler” giveaway, branded facemasks, and alcohol delivery apps.

  • See also this article in which a co-author of the report reportedly said “tobacco, alcohol, and junk food . . . have positioned themselves as heroes and partners” during the pandemic and “have interfered in public policies that seek to protect population health.”


Criminal networks bolstered during South African ban – A Revenue Service Commissioner reportedly said that South Africa’s ban on alcohol beverages and tobacco products during the pandemic has allowed criminal networks to enter the supply chain. The Revenue Service is working with law enforcement agencies, but it has reportedly said that the government will need years to reverse the impact of illicit activities.


Colombia – Colombia’s Ministry of Health has established protocols to allow bars and restaurants to sell alcohol beverages. Venues must satisfy a number of conditions, such as the natural circulation of air, the use of disinfection and cleaning protocols for their kitchens, and the control of venue entrances in order to ensure that customers are healthy and correctly use their face masks.

India – Bars in Delhi may begin serving alcohol beverages again on a trial basis until 30 September 2020, but restaurant owners are reportedly hesitant about renewing their liquor licenses if the reopening is only for a short trial period.

Ireland – The Irish Cabinet has approved reopening pubs on 21 September 2020, but they will not be allowed to play music, and they must keep TV volumes low so that customers will not need to shout to be heard. The National Public Health Emergency Team also indicated that pubs may be required to limit the number of customers and provide extra toilet facilities in order to comply with social distancing requirements.

United States – The governor of Florida is reportedly encouraging the state legislature to make permanent the ability of restaurants to sell carryout alcohol beverages.


Canada – Due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, British Columbia’s government has reportedly ordered nightclubs and stand-alone banquet halls to close, ended the sale of alcohol beverages in restaurants after 10 p.m. and instructed venues to lower the volume of music to conversational levels.

Portugal – The Ministerial Council of Portugal has reportedly approved measures to combat the pandemic, effective 15 September 2020. The restrictions include banning the sale of alcohol beverages at all establishments except for venues serving meals, prohibiting the consumption of alcohol beverages on public roads, and holding individual municipalities responsible for establishing closing times for venues between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.