The countries that have banned alcohol sales due to the coronavirus

While restrictions have been placed on alcohol sales in many countries due to the closure of pubs, restaurants, bars and shops, we’ve rounded up the countries and regions that have gone one step further.

With the on-trade effectively shut down in some countries due to Covid-19, the sale of alcohol has been disrupted. However, supermarkets and off-licences remain open in many cases, while smaller and online retailers, as well as wineries, breweries and distilleries, are continuing to offer full delivery services while shops and tasting rooms remain closed.

Last week, the UK government made a late addition to its list of businesses deemed “essential” and therefore allowed to remain open during the lockdown.

The government added ‘off-licences and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries’ to its brief list of businesses that can stay open during the Covid-19 crisis.

Pubs and restaurants, meanwhile, must remain closed, but can provide take-away services, which customers can opt to collect or have delivered.

Online retail continues as normal, and is “encouraged”. However some online wine retailers, including The Wine Society, have announced that they will be stopping deliveries during the outbreak in order to protect staff.

A false notice was circulated in the UK over the weekend, claiming that the Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the NHS, had ordered a ban on alcohol consumption in the UK, and had prohibited sales from 29 March. The document was later proved to be fake.

Last week it was also announced that Hong Kong had banned on-trade alcohol sales and was mulling the closure of 8,600 bars, restaurants and clubs to contain the further spread of a fresh Covid-19 outbreak. However, on 27 March, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said that the government would not be suspending alcohol sales and instead would be imposing new measures in restaurants and other public venues to limit public gatherings.

We’ve rounded up a list of the countries and regions that have banned both on- and off-trade sales during the coronavirus oubreak.

24 Responses to “The countries that have banned alcohol sales due to the coronavirus”

  1. Andrea says:

    Alcohol off-licence supplies have been disrupted in New Zealand with the lock down. Liquor stores have closed as well as a ban on delivery on non-essential items so disrupting online sales. Supermarkets are the remaining off-licence supplier selling beer, wine and cider.

  2. Wazha Dam says:

    We have a 30 day ban on the sale of alcohol by any retailer in Botswana and we are going on to a 28 day lock down from tomorrow.

  3. Hans says:

    How did you miss the Bahamas? All liquor stores shuttered. And folks are getting the D.T.s.

  4. Julian-Rodriques Jacobs says:

    This is false.
    South Africa IS NOT the epicenter of the COVID 19 outbreak.
    Wuhan, China is.

  5. Scott Painter says:

    Panama was among, if not the first (April 24). Alas, I finished my last Cerveza Balboa Friday night. Dark days ahead!

  6. Michael says:

    Thailand, ban on all alcohol sales from April 10th to April 20th.

  7. Ann says:

    Alcohol and covid-19 do not mix. Yes, cutting off the supply of alcohol can cause hardship to some alcoholics, but the risk of domestic violence do to increased alcohol consumption is very concerning. A friend’s partner has significantly increased his alcohol consumption and she lives in fear in her own home both from him directly and from his excursions into the community to obtain alcohol, which may inadvertently bring covid-19 into the home as well. Although many people can handle alcohol just fine, and it can help them through this stressful time, too many people have addiction problems with alcohol. Think about the innocent victims stuck in homes with aggressive and violent alcoholics. As a psychologist, that is my greatest concern.

  8. M.A.K. Jamaloodeen says:

    South Africa has banned the sale of cigarettes, which is really stupid because the blackmarket is now thriving. How do you suddenly stop smoking after 47 years. What about the withdrawal symptoms. Proof of this draconian law: numerous liquor stores are being burgled across the country, and home brewing is kicking off. The Prohibition did not work in USA.

  9. Concerned citizen says:

    Why did you ban cigarettes because we I mean we don’t share it. Liquor store must also be opened. Suddenly we are all in rehabilitation. No this is was not discussed it’s a one man’s talk. Plz check background before implementation. Close all getherings and meeting I thought that is the main issue here.

  10. Robert Mitchell says:

    Sale of liquor should be controlled not banned – limit customers

  11. Frustrated guy says:

    You can’t put everyone in the same bowl. Some people can handle alcohol and don’t hit everyone or drive there car into a pole. We aren’t kids, we can decide for ourselves when to drink and do so responsibly.

  12. Pissed off says:

    I can understand the ban on alcohol but in South Africa the powers that be have banned cigarette sales, not fun at all man.

  13. Raged says:

    I cannot understand why these rules are implemented on us, I mean, we are already have to deal with this horrible pandemic and now, we have to suffer even more, cigarettes are banned, alcohol is banned. How can they rob us of our freedom like this. It’s utterly ridiculous, what is the point of living anymore if your country is making you suffer more than you should. It’s like we are all held captive in their diabolical plan.

  14. Heike Hagelmann says:

    South Africa baned Alc. and zigs. because Dlamini Zuma wants to show her power. She insist Zigs must be baned because poor people share a Zigarette and the infection would spread faster. Now she allows alcohol . So drunk people can abuse there family’s or brèak lockdown rules because they drunk and spread the virus .And poor share there cheap Alc.out of one bottle . So what’s the point here? Because there are certain people stupid she treats us all like stupid. A smoker is not more in danger than others, also high overweight people at high risk and we have plenty of them, do they have to stop eating Now? There is no hard proof of smokers to die faster. They just guessing. How many smoker are among the people past away do to corona? Zuma is on a vendetta and misusing her power. Yes I know smoking is unheathy and not good but leave the decision to myself.

  15. Nevermind Tatenda Mupanedende says:

    How can you even ban ciggarates the law should be like ,you will be prosecuted if seen sharing..simple.this must come to an end…no to rehabilitation to all

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