Estonia: Capital Removes Alcohol Policy From Agenda
Tallinn, the capital of Estonia has removed a planned discussion about alcohol policy development from their agenda. As IOGT International previously reported, the Mayor of Talinn proposed better alcohol control policy in the capital which included time-specific restrictions on alcohol sale and restrictions on alcohol outlets near childcare institutions.
The city council was set to approve the alcohol sale restrictions bill but the city government has withdrawn it. The reason stated is that there needs to be more discussion with “concerned parties.”
The city government approved the restrictions for bars, night clubs, pubs and other entertainment establishments on November 5, 2019 and they are set to enter into force from June 1, 2020.
However, certain questions such as whether to treat casinos the same as bars remain, as Chairman of the city council’s Centre Party group Toivo Tootsen says.
The bill includes the following restrictions. Sale of alcohol for consumption on location is prohibited from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on nights preceding Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. on nights preceding Saturdays and Sundays. The restrictions are not in effect on the nights of January 1, February 24 and June 24.
The restrictions do not apply to airport and port buildings open to international passengers, lobbies and rooms of accommodation establishments and gambling establishments that have an operating license from the city.
Hopefully, the Bill will be approved soon as evidence-based alcohol policy measures are necessary now more than ever in Estonia considering the impact of the recent alcohol tax cuts. Alcohol harm in Estonia is already high, as the World Health Organization places the country at the highest end for years of life lost due to alcohol. The harm will no doubt increase with the tax cuts, hence stronger alcohol control is an urgent need for Estonia.