Home/FIVS Alerts/Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 23 September 2020

Focus on Coronavirus: Notable Public Policy Developments Around the World – 23 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.


Pandemic driving alcohol use disorders? – The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has expressed concern that Americans who are using alcohol beverages to cope with stress and anxiety during the pandemic will develop alcohol use disorders while isolating at home. The World Health Organisation issued a similar warning during the spring of 2020, urging governments to reconsider making alcohol widely available during the pandemic.


European Union – The European Commission has reportedly approved financial support for the wine sector due to difficulties experienced during the pandemic. The Official Journal of the European Union (DOUE) of 14 September 2020 contains certain provisions to help those in need. For example, the EU contribution to crop insurance will amount to up to 70 percent of the cost of premiums paid by producers.


United States – The governor of Iowa reportedly signed a proclamation allowing bars, wineries, night clubs, and other venues that sell alcohol beverages to re-open, effective 16 September 2020, in four counties where these venues have been closed since late August. Restaurants are also no longer prohibited from serving alcohol after 10 p.m. Bars in the towns of two state universities will remain closed, but they may sell alcohol beverages to be consumed off site. Restaurants in those towns must stop selling and serving alcohol after 10 p.m.

Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s Information Minister reportedly announced that the continued easing of COVID-19 restrictions should be understood as an attempt to balance the protection of lives with economic interests, rather than as a sign that the war against the virus was being won. Wholesalers, wine producers, and bottle stores may now reportedly sell alcohol beverages for consumption off premises during licensed hours. Restaurants, airports, recreational park areas, houseboats, camps, caravan parks, casinos, and theaters may serve alcohol beverages on premises during licensed hours.


Denmark – Denmark’s Minister of Health reportedly announced new restrictions for Copenhagen and sixteen surrounding municipalities, mandating that bars, cafes, and restaurants must close by 10 p.m., and guests and staff must wear masks when standing and walking. Private parties held in restaurants must also close by 10 p.m. The Minister said the restrictions were “a prerequisite for us to be able to keep the rest of society open.”

England – Britain’s Prime Minister has reportedly announced new coronavirus-related restrictions that could stay in place for the next six months. Pubs and restaurants will only be able to offer table service and must close by 10 p.m., effective 24 September 2020; wedding ceremonies and receptions will be downsized to a maximum of 15 people; and an expected partial reopening of sports stadiums has been postponed. The restrictions apply only to England.

France – Prefects in Bordeaux, Marseille, and in the north of France have reportedly announced a series of COVID-related restrictions. Alcohol consumption will not be allowed on public roads in the Gironde capital and student parties have been suspended. Bars and restaurants will continue to be closed from 12:30 a.m. until 6 a.m. in the North. Dance evenings and gatherings of more than 10 people in parks and on the beaches will be prohibited in Bordeaux.

South Africa – The Democratic Alliance (DA) has reportedly called on the South African government to ease its restrictions on alcohol sales and curfews completely. If the government is unwilling, the DA has asked the government to present the evidence or research that gave effect to the government’s decision.