New rules for alcohol sales in force

New rules for alcohol sales in force

New regulations on the sale of alcohol came into effect under new legislation on  11 January. Sales of alcohol spiked late last year during lockdown and the run up to Christmas.

Alcohol sales have now been disallowed from supermarket voucher schemes. Popular multibuy deals have also come to an end.

It’s part of government efforts to reduce the consumption of alcohol under the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018. Over the past year, gradual moves to introduce the Act have been made, for example the introduction of off-licence barriers.

These latest measures directly affect consumers. The act prohibits grocers and off-licence outlets from awarding loyalty card points on alcohol sales.

Alcohol sellers are also banned from selling alcohol at a reduced price on the basis of the purchase of another product or service. Popular and multi-buy deals are no long allowed.

The main goal of the act is to reduce alcohol consumption by measures such as minimum unit pricing, regulation of advertising of alcohol products, and reduced visibility of alcohol products in supermarkets.

The Act also legislated on minimum pricing, which would set a base on alcohol prices. This aspect will be delayed until it can be introduced on both sides of the border at the same time.