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RETAIL LIQUOR LICENCES REMAIN SUSPENDED

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Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 19, 2020 (RSCNPF): Retail liquor licences remain suspended with the extension of the State of Emergency.

Section 14 of the Statutory Rules and Orders No. 14 of 2020, Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 5) Regulations speaks to the suspension of all retail liquor licences. It states that “Notwithstanding the provisions of the Liquor Licences Act, Cap. 18.21, all retail liquor licences are suspended once a period of emergency is declared in relation to COVID-19.”

On a recent edition of the ‘Policing With You’ radio programme, Divisional Commander for District ‘A’, Superintendent Cromwell Henry addressed the issue.

“So you cannot go by a bar, you cannot go by a shop and buy a glass of wine [or] buy a glass of your favourite drink,” Superintendent Henry said.

“But the wholesale licences they are still intact so if you have a wholesale licence to sell liquor by the case or to sell by the bottle then those can still operate. So the supermarkets, those can continue to sell their liquor because you’re not consuming it on the premises.”

Superintendent Henry represents The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force on the National COVID-19 Task Force. He explained that the intention of suspending retail liquor licences was to prevent social gatherings at bars and shops that sell liquor.

“That is the kind of thing that brings people together dangerously close and so to avoid that licences are suspended to prevent persons from socialising in that way,” he added.

The Liquor Licence Act states that ‘“liquor” includes brandy, whisky, 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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