Police Superintendent Explains the Suspension of the Liquor License for Shop and Bars Owners

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 29, 2020 (SKNIS): The temporary suspension of the liquor license for retailers such as bar and shop owners is designed to reduce the opportunities for the public to congregate. This, in turn, decreases the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

COVID-19 is spread when the respiratory droplets from an infected individual come into contact with another person and get into their eyes, nose or mouth. To reduce the potential of catching the virus, health authorities recommend persons wear face masks and maintain a distance of six feet from other persons when in public.

Superintendent Cromwell Henry of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force said, “It is not very easy if at all possible, to maintain this six feet distance in a bar with persons drinking alcohol. Alcohol suppresses the central nervous system and impairs one’s ability to judge distances, among other things. Hence the restriction at retail licensed premises.”

The intention of the Regulation concerning the sale of alcohol is not to restrict the consumption or sale of alcohol generally. This is why wholesale liquor is still available for sale at supermarkets and other companies. The senior law enforcement officer said that wholesalers do not allow the consumption of alcohol on their premises, and this is the chief reason why their license remains active.

During his presentation at the National Emergency Operations Centre Daily Briefing on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, Superintendent Henry read out a section of the Liquor License Act.

“To sell wholesale means to sell liquor in any quantity of not less than one pint to be consumed off or away from the premises. To sell retail means to sell liquor in any quantity to be consumed on or away from the premises,” he stated.

He noted that the Act defines liquor as brandy, whiskey, rum, gin, wines, liqueurs, beer, porter, cider and all potable spirituous alcoholic, malt and fermented liquors of any kind or sort whatsoever, but shall not include bay water and bay rum.

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