ANCEVE – the national association of wine and spirits producers and exporters – has slammed the government’s ‘no booze after 8pm’ rule, which prevents shops and supermarkets from selling alcohol after 8pm.
The ban was implemented nationwide in September in an attempt to prevent late-night drinking, and thus making it more likely that people would follow Covid-19 guidelines.
But according to the association, the measure is causing “great damage” to the winemaking sector.
Smaller winemakers, who “depend solely on their sales to restaurants and liquor stores”, had the ‘rug pulled from under their feet’ in March due to the lockdown, the association stresses.
Meanwhile, larger wine producers who had been able to keep their finances in decent shape up until September were dealt a “huge blow” when the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages after 8pm was implemented.
“While they continue to invest in exportation (despite the huge difficulties caused by the pandemic), these companies rely mostly on the national market and the losses caused by the ban have dramatically affected their revenue and capacity to honour their commitments with workers, the State and suppliers,” ANCEVE says.
It adds that the measure is “discriminatory” and should be reviewed “immediately, as it doesn’t make any sense at the moment”.
“It is a measure that has a very negative impact on a national product like wine, which is an integral part of the life and culture of the Portuguese people,” the association says.