Hoaxers have claimed alcohol sales may be banned In the UK due to coronavirus – as some countries ban it for real.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, there are lots of rumours and false information going around. Someone recently circulated a fake letter through email, stating Britain was about to introduce an alcohol sales ban, due to coronavirus.
It sent shockwaves across the internet; with many believing they would no longer be able to buy booze any time soon. This comes as alcohol flew off the shelves in off-licenses, shops and supermarkets. With bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants closed when the country went into lockdown, online sales exploded.
Stockpiling in case of alcohol sales ban
People of the UK stocked up (some would say panic bought) with many ordering home deliveries. They were afraid they may not be able to get their hands on alcohol, especially if their local outlets ran out of supplies.
For some people, this can be a legitimate concern, which may explain why so many were taken in by the fake letter. The possibility of the UK imposing a ban on alcohol seemed entirely plausible, especially as other countries have already taken similar steps.
Some countries did have alcohol sales bans
South Africa implemented a three-week lockdown from the end of March. The first time the government has taken away its people’s basic freedoms of movement: to shop; meet up, or visit their place of worship, since becoming a democracy around the mid-nineties.
The President, Cyril Ramaphosa, took strict measures, even calling in the army to enforce the lockdown. The government stopped people taking a stroll or walking their dogs, as well as implementing an alcohol sales ban and even prohibiting cigarette sales.
Increased abuse problems
Other countries around the world have also introduced alcohol sales bans, often for harrowing reasons. It is unfortunate that, when families are forced to stay indoors during stressful situations, it can increase domestic abuse cases. This led to the region of Aisne in the north of France bringing out an alcohol ban. However, the decision was reversed in a matter of days, after the local government consulted with addiction experts. They found out there are possible negative outcomes of withholding alcohol.
There is also a distressing reason why Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, has enforced an alcohol ban. It is part of a government drive to lower cases of violence against children and keep them safe during lockdown. Tragically, the country, located in the Danish Arctic, has reportedly had many documented cases of sexual abuse.
It has been estimated 30% of the adult population were victims in childhood, with many considering a lack of understanding of children’s rights, drugs and alcohol to be contributing factors. The government were afraid youngsters, forced to stay at home with a parent or family member with a possible drinking problem, may be more at risk.
Help is available without alcohol
Many in the UK are concerned about cases of domestic abuse during lockdown. Spouses or partners, both male and female, living in an abusive relationship may feel they are now literally trapped in a violent situation, often fuelled by drugs or alcohol. Be assured there is help available if you are in this situation.
It is not difficult to understand why places like Aisne in Northern France, or Nuuk in Greenland may consider imposing a ban. However, there currently appear to be no plans for the UK to follow suit and prohibit the sale of alcohol.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) are advising against using alcohol to try and cope with stress at this time. They know it is an unhelpful strategy. Many feel they need a drink to deal with crisis but you must be careful not to become dependent. Otherwise you may have more problems to overcome when restrictions are lifted.