Ireland: Calls to Regulate Alcohol Online Retail
Public health experts in Ireland are calling on the Justice Minister to regulate online alcohol retail.
A study carried out by Red C in May found that one in three Irish adults is consuming more alcohol since the COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions in Ireland. In the study, 80% of respondents reported that they believe online alcohol sales should have the same regulations as a pub.
As Movendi International previously reported, Ireland is already seeing a worrying rise in take-home alcohol sales. The country has also started to see a rise in domestic violence since the COVID-19 restrictions began. Many who call helplines for support report that their abusers have consumed alcohol.
The Alcohol Forum says urgent action is needed to cover the loopholes in the law regarding online alcohol retail in the country. These loopholes enable the alcohol industry to delivery alcohol with no restrictions or regulations simply because “it is not against the law”. Alcohol online sale and delivery increases availability of alcohol and puts children in harms way.
Children and minors could get alcohol through online sale and delivery as these services are hard to monitor. With no restrictions or regulation in Ireland there is no accountability for delivering to those under the legal age for alcohol purchase.
Children are also put in harms way as parents may consume more alcohol. Specially during the current pandemic, parents with dependent children may be facing more stress and burden and may attempt to use alcohol to cope. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already stated alcohol should not be used as a coping mechanism for COVID-19 related challenges. Instead the WHO has recommended some healthy ways of coping with the current crisis, including a healthy diet, physical exercise and avoiding alcohol and tobacco.