19 Jul 2013

Vanuatu alcohol sale ban lifted but restricions still apply

2:22 pm on 19 July 2013

Retail sales of alcohol in Vanuatu are to return to normal hours, ending a ban put in place by the government a week ago.

The government introduced the ban as a bid to counter what it described as rising criminal activities, but also in anticipation of increased consumption of alcohol around Bastille Day.

A government release says the ban will end at midday tomorrow, but that 3AM closure times for bars and nightclubs will be strictly enforced this weekend.

Police will have road checkpoints and any drunk drivers will have to leave their vehicles.

The government has warned public drunkenness will not be tolerated.

Earlier this week, police arrested an unnamed government minister for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The Daily Post newspaper reported the arrest but decided not to name the minister.