06.03.2020

Tallinn to limit the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption

The City Government submitted a draft regulation with amendments to the City Council. The regulation, which will take effect on October 1 this year, will be restricting the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption at night and in the early morning hours.

According to the proposed regulation, the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises would be prohibited on the nights before Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2AM through 6AM and in the nights before Saturday and Sunday, from 3AM through 7AM.

In casinos and night clubs, the the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises would be prohibited on the nights before Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 3AM through 6AM and in the nights before Saturday and Sunday, from 4AM trough 7AM. Restrictions would not apply on the night before January 1st, February 25th and June 24th.

Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart said that the City Government started the initiative to restrict alcohol sales last September, a broader debate was launched afterwards. "We reached out to various stakeholders and organizations for suggestions. The discussions turned out to be so active that we had to prolong the process. While the draft was initially expected to be adopted by the end of last year, there were still many different ideas and proposals at the end of the year. That is why we decided that the decision and the draft are so important and deserve further discussion. Today, as a result of these discussions, we have updated and added amendmets to the initial regulation,” the Mayor explained

“When we came out with the initiative to stop selling alcohol at bars in the fall at 2AM before workdays and at 3AM on weekends, and we excluded casinos and lobby bars, we have concluded that the restrictions must be imposed on casinos and nightclubs. It is somewhat diferent in those venues, that is, on weekdays, alcohol sales stop for consumption on the premises at 3AM and on weekends at 4AM."

Once the restrictions have been imposed, the city will definitely check and analyze how they work. "Certainly, some companies will try to find different ways of not complying with the law, but we already see the need for monitoring and checking the situation," noted Kõlvart.

The retail sale of alcoholic beverages by the room service or the mini-bar for the people accomodated will not be restricted, the same applies for the alcohol sold at the lobby. The restriction does not apply to airport or seaport facilities open to international traffic at a point of sale exclusively within the passenger area. If a public event involves the retail sale of alcoholic beverages, restrictions shall be imposed in the permit for the public event.

Since the regulation will come into force from October 1st, the enterpreneurs have a sufficient transition period for adapting their activities to the new circumstances.

By imposing the restriction, the city aims to improve public order, well-being and public health, values of young people, ensure the integrity of the home, balance the rights and interests of stakeholders and preserve the value of Tallinn as a tourist destination.

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