In Warsaw, Poland, the ban on having alcohol in Public places was extended to previously excluded places such as boulevards and Poniatówka beach due to COVID-19.

Councilor Anna Auksel-Seukutowicz has proposed to extend the ban beyond the pandemic. She has presented evidence and argued an alcohol-free environment would be safer for people who gather in these areas.

On March 19, 2021, Warsaw councilors extended the existing ban on having alcohol in public places to previously excluded places. Vistula boulevards and Poniatówka beach were among the areas where alcohol was previously allowed but banned due to COVID-19. The ban was set to last till June, 30, 2021 but the councilors extended it to the end of the pandemic.

The Councilor of the Civic Coalition Anna Auksel-Seukutowicz has proposed to maintain the ban after the lifting of the pandemic restrictions. If majority of the councilors won’t support this solution she suggests banning alcohol in these places at least for the summer months (June to September). These are the months when the most number of people gather in these places.

Proposing this solution at a meeting of the Security and Order Committee of the Capital City of Warsaw, she presented police statistics to show the harm alcohol causes in these public places. Data on the number of crimes disclosed on the boulevards include,

  • 90 thefts and 5 robberies in 2018,
  • 33 thefts and 5 robberies in 2019.
  • 26 thefts and 4 robberies in 2020.
  • Cases of beatings were 7 in 2018, 3 in 2019 and 2 in 2020.

I believe that a complete ban on alcoholic beverages on the Vistula boulevards is very much needed. This will improve safety in these places” said Anna Auksel-Sekutowicz, Councilor of the Civic Coalition, as per Polish News.

Anna Auksel-Sekutowicz, Councilor of the Civic Coalition

Science suggests that limiting alcohol availability reduces violence. Measures such as reducing outlet density and earlier closing times for alcohol outlets have proven effective. Therefore, making public spaces alcohol-free is a solution to creating safer more inclusive spaces for all people.