Press Advisories

20. 9. 2012 10:14

The government is to ease the liquor ban within a week

Within a week, ministers will prepare measures that will permit the distribution of spirits from new production and the release of liquor stocks that have been banned from sales.

Vláda do týdne zmírní zákaz prodeje lihovinFollowing a meeting yesterday evening, members of the Cabinet agreed that the conditions now allow easing the ban that prohibits selling and serving liquors with 20% and higher ethyl alcohol content. "The Cabinet recommends to the Minister of Health and Minister of Agriculture to draft within the next week measures that will allow the production and distribution of spirits to be restored, and charges the Minister of Health, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Industry and Trade, and the Minister of Finance with proposing measures allowing the sale of stocks affected by the current ban," states the Cabinet's resolution.

"We want both measures to take effect on the same day," said Prime Minister Petr Nečas, adding that his Cabinet also requested the finance minister to team up with the minister of interior, the minister of agriculture, the minister of industry and trade, and the minister of health in preparing an analysis of actions taken against the illegal alcohol market by the public administration, particularly by the Financial and Customs Administration, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, the Czech Trade Inspection, public health authorities, and the Czech Police. The analysis is to be presented for a debate by the end of October.

New labels will be instantly recognizable

The Cabinet also approved the appearance of new excise duty labels that will designate bottles containing safe alcohol. The new labels will feature a new design designating spirits in consumer packagings with ethyl alcohol content of 20% and higher. The previous design of excise duty labels will continue to be used to designate spirits in consumer packagings with below 20% alcohol content. The design of the new labels will allow consumers to recognize them instantly from the previous ones.

As many as 23 persons have died of methyl alcohol poisoning in the Czech Republic (including one death in May 2012). Thirty-five people are currently hospitalized due to methanol poisoning, many in critical condition. Three new patients have been admitted to hospitals in the past 24 hours.

Inspections are being conducted by regional public health authorities in accordance with the Health Ministry's instructions in an effort to stop the poisonings caused by the consumption of tainted alcohol from further spreading.

Meetings of inspection authorities and various regional officials are being held in all regions on a daily basis under the coordination of regional public health services. In the Moravian-Silesian Region, meetings are being held twice a day in view of the high number of poisoning cases there. In addition, Moravian-Silesian officials are working closely together with public health authorities in Poland.

To date, regional public health authorities have carried out 8126 inspections, requesting the presence of the police and customs administration authorities in necessary cases. In addition, public health inspectors have been carrying joint day- and night-time inspections with the police and the customs administration.

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