Home > Dail Eireann debate. Questions - Alcohol sales [20548/20]

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Questions - Alcohol sales [20548/20]. (30 Jul 2020)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2020...

Question: 1305. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health if the timeline for the implementation of measures in retail stores regarding the separation of alcohol sales will be extended due to delays in the construction sector and supply line due to Covid-19; if new guidelines will be issued extending out the dates of completion of the necessary works which are costing retailers significant amounts; if direct financial assistance will be given to retailers before the November 2020 deadline in order to comply with legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20548/20]

Deputy Stephen Donnelly, Minister for Health - Section 22 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 provides for the separation and visibility of alcohol products and advertisements in specified licensed premises. Section 22 was commenced by the Minister for Health in November 2018 with a two year lead-in time to ensure sufficient time was available for retailers to comply with its requirements. As the provision was commenced in 2018 an extension cannot now be given. There are no plans to provide financial assistance to retailers to comply with the legislation. 

My Department and the HSE have developed guidance for retailers in relation to the provisions of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act due to come into effect on 12 November 2020. That guidance is available on the website of the Department of Health and includes guidance on the separation of alcohol products in mixed retail outlets. 

The separation of alcohol in mixed retail outlets is an important public health measure to ensure that it is clear that alcohol is not like other grocery products but is one which if used harmfully has serious health impacts. The measure is also designed to reduce the exposure of children to alcohol products and alcohol advertising in mixed retail outlets.


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