Hong Kong to ban minors from buying alcohol in shops

At the end of this month Hong Kong will implement a new law that bans youngsters aged under 18 from buying alcohol in shops.

The city already bans bars, restaurants and clubs from serving alcohol to those under 18 years old, but the city’s shops, convenience stores and supermarkets are lax about alcohol sales to minors.

7-Eleven, however, is said to have been voluntarily refusing to sell alcohol to minors in the city for a while now. 

But starting from 30 November, a new law announced by the SAR government’s Department of Health will specifically prohibit the sale and supply of liquor to anyone under the age of 18, according to a SCMP report.

A person can face a fine of up to HK$50,000 (US$6,400), if found to be violating the new rule.

Stores selling alcohol are also required to display signs in both Chinese and English of the new rule in a prominent location. Non-compliance with the notice requirement carries a maximum fine of HK$25,000.

Dr Jeff Lee Pui-man, head of Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office, further explained that the new law covers all types of liquor sales and supply online and offline regardless of cash payment methods.

It also extends to venues such as fairs, exhibitions or celebrations but exempted family gatherings or social events with no business intent.

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