Monday, July 15, 2024

San Pedro stakeholders not happy with regulations on alcohol sales and business operations during the Christmas weekend

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On Thursday, December 22nd, a couple of stakeholders in San Pedro Town voiced their dissatisfaction with the current set of regulations regarding the sale of alcohol and opening hours for different establishments over the Christmas weekend. The regulations set by the Belize Police Department are said to be unfair, and the stakeholders on the island say they will be significantly affected due to restrictions requiring businesses to close by midnight.

Oscar Iboy

Leading the protest against the regulations was island activist Oscar Iboy who noted that San Pedro is a business community depending on tourism. He stressed that having businesses shut down their operations by midnight will affect the local economy significantly. “This island is the center of the tourism industry in this country,” said Iboy. “It’s high season, and people are still trying to recover from the COVID pandemic.” Iboy asked the authorities to be considerate when passing such regulations and be aware of how it affects people’s livelihoods.
One of the stakeholders in the entertainment sector, Jamir Gillet from Top Boy Promotions, said they had invested nearly $10,000 for an event scheduled for the Christmas weekend. Gillett said they are not against the law, but the regulations were announced too close to Christmas. “We had to cancel this big event. They should have at least made such announcements a month before so that we could have better planned,” said Gillett. He noted that it is difficult to get any refund once they make deposits for artists at their events.

Jamir Gillet

Another stakeholder, Hector Andrews, operating The Verse Allure nightclub, said that many island employees would be affected because of the sudden implementation of the said regulations. According to Andrews, DJs, security personnel, and bar staff wages will decrease as nightclubs will not operate past midnight. “Everyone expecting to work past midnight in the entertainment industry will lose those wages for that time,” said Andrews. He suggests that when such decisions are made, the authorities should reach out to the areas that will be affected so they can adjust and stakeholders do not lose investments. Andrews also said that he had invested $4,000 in products for the Christmas holidays.

Hector Andrews

The regulations on the sale of alcohol for the Christmas holidays were announced by Commissioner of Police Chester Williams on Wednesday, December 21st, mentioning the ban on alcohol sales and operating hours for businesses.
The regulations are as follows:
Publican’s General
CLOSED at 10PM on Christmas Eve
CLOSED on Christmas Day
CLOSED 10PM to 6AM on Boxing Day
Malt Liquor and Cider License
CLOSED at 11PM on Christmas Eve
CLOSED on Christmas Day
CLOSED from 11PM to 7AM on Boxing Day
Shop or Beer License
CLOSED between 4PM to 7PM and again at 9PM on Christmas Eve
CLOSED on Christmas and Boxing Day
Hotel License
CLOSED midnight to 7AM on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day
Restaurant License
CLOSED midnight to 6AM on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day
Publican’s Special License
CLOSED between midnight and 10AM on Christmas Eve
CLOSED between 1PM to 3PM and again at 11PM on Christmas Day
CLOSED at midnight to 10AM on Boxing Day
Night Club License
CLOSED midnight to 10AM on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
CLOSED 2AM to 10AM on Boxing Day
Special License
CLOSED midnight to 10AM on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
CLOSED midnight to 10AM on Boxing Day

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