BIG supermarket chains in the Valencian Community have demanded the reversal of an 8.00 pm cut-off point for alcohol sales.
The measure started last weekend to stop rising COVID-19 infections among younger people meeting up for illegal house parties or outdoor drinks gatherings known as botellons.
The National Association of Large Distribution Companies (Anged), along with other key retail federations who represent the major supermarkets, have told the Valencian government that there’s no ‘direct link between sales hours for alcohol and coronavirus infections’.
The restricted hours are due to run until at least July 25.
The supermarket federations joint-statement said: “Far from solving the problem of alcohol consumption on public roads, this prohibition has been proven to be totally ineffective.”
“What is has caused are problems for our regular customers who have not been able to make their normal purchases, and to our staff who had to explain the situation which is hard for people to undertsand.”
Botellons across the region appear have continued despite the reduced sales hours and increased fines.
Another factor is that people who used to buy alcohol in the evening before heading into the streets, are now simply stocking up earlier in the day.
The federations added that the alcohol rule ‘doesn’t make any sense’ especially as a night curfew has been introduced in municipalities with high infection rates.
The statement concluded: “We ask that this prohibition is eliminated in the next review of anti-COVID measures so that our customers do not find obstacles when filling up their shopping baskets and that our teams can dedicate themselves to their work, which is to provide the best-possible service to the public”.