A new pandemic measure has been put in place to restrict the sale of liquor to 10 pm in bars and restaurants in Medellín and other cities in Colombia.

According to El Colombiano, through a circular, signed by the Minister of the Interior, Alicia Arango, and the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, the mayors and governors in Colombia were informed of the new rules for the sale of alcohol in restaurants and bars due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bar at Dante Cucina Italiana in Medellín

The bar at Dante Cucina Italiana in Medellín

Why is the Sale of Liquor Restricted to 10 pm?

Due to an increase in coronavirus cases in December and a “risk of social indiscipline”, both ministries decided that in municipalities in Colombia where there is an availability of beds in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) less than 30 percent, the consumption of liquor will be limited in bars and restaurants until 10:00 pm at night.

According to the most recent figures from the National Health Institute, the restriction would apply in the departments of Antioquia, Norte de Santander, Valle del Cauca, Quindío and in Bogotá. This restriction would go, for now, until December 21.

So, this restriction covers Medellín and the other nine municipalities in the Aburrá Valley, Cali and Bogotá,

Also, in other municipalities where the epidemiological curve is on the rise, local authorities can request prior authorization from the Ministry of the Interior to reduce the hours of alcohol sales.

Bars and Restaurants Started to Sell Liquor in September

Bars and restaurants in Medellín were permitted to sell liquor on their premises started in mid-September. This is after a ban for over five months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This was announced on Tuesday, September 15, by the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero.

Starting on September 15 until midnight each night, bars and restaurants in Medellín were authorized to sell liquor in their commercial premises. For over five months, they had only been able to sell liquor via home delivery.

Why was this important?  Liquor reportedly represents about 40 percent of sales in restaurants, and up to 85 percent of sales in bars.

The bar at Cuon, a popular Asian fusion restaurant in Medellín

The bar at Cuon, a popular Asian fusion restaurant in Medellín

The Bottom Line: Sale of Liquor Restricted to 10 pm in Bars and Restaurants

A new pandemic measure has been put in place to restrict the sale of liquor to 10 pm in restaurants and bars in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley plus other cities such as Bogotá and Cali.

This new measure was put in place due to an increase in coronavirus cases in December and a “risk of social indiscipline”. The restriction is until December 21 but could be extended.

This ban on the sale of liquor after 10 pm measure is a relatively minor preventative measure and only cuts out a few hours of sales at night.

Antioquia also has a curfew at night from midnight to 6 am nightly until December 20 for all the municipalities of the Oriente, Suroeste, Occidente, Norte, Nordeste, Bajo Cauca and Magdalena Medio sub-regions of Antioquia.

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