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SPECIAL MESSAGE: The government imposes a nationwide ban on late-night alcohol sales from 25 September

17. September 2020 - 0:00

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 17 September 2020 – the government approved a nationwide restriction on the sale of alcohol, which will take effect on the night of 24/25 September at 12 a.m. Late-night alcohol sales will be forbidden from 12 a.m. to 10 a.m. in all points of sale where alcohol is sold for consumption on the spot, for example, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, theatre buffets, and hotels.

The restriction is valid until 24 October inclusive, and the government will assess the need to continue the restriction one week before it is due to expire. Due to the national restriction imposed by the government, regional bans on the sale of alcohol imposed by the Police and Border Guard Board will expire on 25 September at 12 a.m.

“There has been a sharp increase in the spread of COVID-19 infection in Estonia; therefore, it is necessary and justified to re-establish a nationwide restriction,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. “As we have seen, the coronavirus spreads extensively at parties. Unfortunately, alcohol consumption affects people’s behaviour in a way that can promote the spread of the virus. Thereby, I call on people not to contribute to the spread of the virus with risky behaviour both at public and private social gatherings.

According to the Health Board, as at 17 September, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days is 25.36. By comparison, on 1 August, the same indicator was 4.4 and on 15 August, it was 8.4. The increase in the spread of the virus was, to a significant extent, caused by the outbreaks that started in bars in Tartu and Ida-Viru counties. In the last 14 days, no new cases of infection have been registered only in Järva, Valga, Põlva, and Hiiu counties. In addition, there have been 31 new cases in the last 14 days where the place of residence of the infected person has not yet been determined with the precision of the local government unit.

The government relied on the support of the scientific council in introducing the national restriction on alcohol sales.

Local governments bear the responsibility of ensuring compliance with the restriction on the sale of alcohol.

Pursuant to the Alcohol Act, the holders of media must immediately publish the order. The Government Communication Unit will send a formal notification concerning the matter. In addition to Riigi Teataja, the order is also published on the website