Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Premier explains why liquor stores are designated an essential service

Premier, the Honourable Alden McLaughlin has explained why liquor stores have been designated essential services during the COVID-19 soft curfew period.

According to the Premier, with the opening of liquor stores during soft curfew hours, alcohol access can be controlled. There is structure around how alcohol can be sourced, with the alphabetized system etc., rather than if liquor stores were closed. Without the structure being put in place, people would still seek alcohol but in less structured ways that could pose a threat to public health.

Liquor stores continue to remain open during soft curfew hours, and abide by the alphabetized system, but customers are not allowed to sit and drink at any local establishments. 

The Premier explained that most Caymanians drink responsibly and that people who have issues with alcohol will "behave a certain way no matter what we do." 

The Premier indicated that there were a lot more DUIs before the curfew and that unlike most other countries, local supermarkets do not sell alcohol.

Most countries have not banned alcohol during the COVID-19 period. Some countries, such as Zimbabwe, have.

According to Elaine Hyshaka, a researcher and assistant professor with the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, “Alcohol dependency can be psychologically and physiologically. If the supply is cut off for that population of people, it can be potentially catastrophic."

“Not everyone with alcohol use disorder who abstains from drinking will experience medical complications, but for the smaller proportion that does, it can be life-threatening."

"We have given this a great deal of thought," said the Premier

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