Coronavirus booze ban: State announces new restrictions on alcohol

Western Australia is set to become the first state to restrict alcohol sales amid the coronavirus outbreak in a bid to minimise alcohol-related problems.

Premier Mark McGowan announced temporary restrictions on takeaway alcohol which dictate how much alcohol each customer can buy per day.

The restrictions started today and will be in place for a minimum of two weeks, when they will be reviewed.

What can I buy under the new restrictions?

Each customer, per day can purchase:

  • one carton of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits; or

  • three bottles of wine; or

  • one litre of spirits; or

  • one litre of fortified wine; or

  • a combination of any two of the above (but not a combination of two of the same product). 

The WA government consulted with the the state’s police commissioner and the restrictions are in place to minimise alcohol-related problems in the community, the statement from the premier’s office says.

“Alcohol-related issues take up an enormous amount of resources in our health system,” Mr McGowan said in a statement.

Western Australia is the first state to restrict alcohol purchases amid the coronavirus outbreak. Source: Getty Images

“These are resources we simply cannot afford to spare during the COVID-19 situation.

“I also don't want to see a situation where Western Australians move towards buying up large amounts of alcohol during times where they may be staying at home for extended periods, to adhere to social distancing rules.”

Mr McGowan said the restrictions are not intended to prevent people from having a “responsible drink”, but rather to ensure WA is a “strong position” to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

There is no indication that any other Australian state has plans to follow suit on the restrictions just yet.

Over the weekend, people flocked to Dan Murphy’s to stock up on booze as they feared bottle shops would be closed when tough restrictions were announced.

“Panic buying at Dan Murphy’s is the most Australian contagion reaction ever,” one man tweeted.

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