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New SI allows sale of liquor after 6PM in stores

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New SI allows sale of liquor after 6PM in stores

On Tuesday, November 30th, the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 149 of 2021 (https://bit.ly/3xJETrb) pertaining to the COVID-19 regulations, was issued by the Government of Belize repealing a previous regulation (Regulation 27) which prohibited the sale of alcohol (liquor) after 6PM in shops and stores.

The SI Gazetted on November 29th effectively repeals Regulation 27 of SI No. 119 (https://www.pressoffice.gov.bz/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/SI-No-119-2021-Public-Health.pdf), which reads- ‘27.–(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act or any licence issued under the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act, no person shall sell liquor during the hours of six o’clock p.m. to four o’clock a.m. of the following morning.’

According to the new SI, the amendment entered into force on Friday, November 26th, but had to be Gazzeted first before it went into law. This latest change joins other moves of relaxing the COVID-19 regulations due to the high number of recoveries, against the rate of daily infections reported by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Other amendments to the restrictions include the new curfew which came into effect November 22nd, 10PM-4AM Sundays through Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays, the curfew is now  11PM to 4AM. In addition, patrons are no longer required to have a vaccine card to enter a restaurant, diner, or other similar place.

The tourism season in San Pedro Town and most parts of Belize begins with the Thanksgiving holiday, thus, this change to the regulations is appreciated by many stakeholders on the island. San Pedro depends heavily on tourism, and with a promising high season, the amendments will attract travellers. Many hotels and restaurants reported a good occupancy, and so far the bookings for the Christmas holidays and New Year’s continue to look very promising.