Dominican Republic’s Interior & Police Minister says alcoholic beverages takeout is allowed, Decree 171-21 bans the sale

Contrary to what had initially been announced, now the Ministry of Interior and Police’s alcoholic beverages control agency says that businesses are authorized to sell alcoholic beverages as long as these are for takeout and are not consumed where they are purchased. Decree 171-21 states that the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is banned on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 April, the peak days of the Easter holidays.

The change in the interpretation of Decree 171-21 is made by the director of the Program for Control of Alcoholic Beverages (Coba), José Payano. He says that the consumption of alcoholic beverages in businesses and public places such as parks, beaches, restaurantes, colmados and bars is banned, as reported in Diario Libre.

“Any establishment will be able to sell alcoholic beverages during these days, as long as they are to take away or to be delivered at home,” the official specified, as reported in Diario Libre.

The announcement seems to contradict what was stated in Decree 171-21 that states:

“The sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption in places and businesses, and private places with public use, as well as consumption in these places and businesses.”

Easter Week is the peak holiday for domestic travel, beach and mountain outings in the Dominican Republic. While only Good Friday, 2 Friday 2021, is an official holiday, hundreds of thousands of Dominicans will be in party mode as of the preceding Thursday. The announcement of controls to alcoholic beverages had been seen as a government effort to control the spread of Covid-19 due to intense people socializing.

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