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Those with NParks BBQ permit can drink alcohol after 10.30pm

SINGAPORE — Those who have applied for a barbecue permit from the National Parks Board (NParks) for barbecues in national parks here will be allowed to consume alcohol after 10.30pm, even after the new liquor laws take effect tomorrow, the authorities clarified today (March 31).

SINGAPORE — Those who have applied for a barbecue permit from the National Parks Board (NParks) for barbecues in national parks here will be allowed to consume alcohol after 10.30pm, even after the new liquor laws take effect tomorrow, the authorities clarified today (March 31).

In a set of frequently-asked-questions on the new rules posted on the police website, the police said a separate consumption permit was not needed for those who have a valid barbecue permit. 

“Consumption of liquor is allowed during the duration of the validity of the barbecue permit,” they said.

According to information on the NParks website, those who have booked a barbecue pit can use it from 12pm on the day of the permit to 4am the following day. Parks that have barbecue pits for booking are Changi Beach Park, East Coast Park, Labrador Nature Reserve, Pasir Ris Park, Punggol Park, Sembawang Park and West Coast Park.

Organisers of events held in public places can apply for a permit from the police if liquor needs to be consumed during the restricted hours. 

However, consumption permits are not needed for events organised by the Government, as well as events organised by statutory boards for a public purpose.

The Liquor Control Act was passed in Parliament in January to regulate the supply and consumption of liquor in public places, and minimise public disorder and disamenities arising from drinking in public.

Under the Act, retail sale of take-away alcohol and public drinking will not be allowed from 10.30pm to 7am every day. Alcohol can still be consumed within licensed premises such as restaurants, coffee shops or bars, in accordance with the hours stipulated in their respective licences.

Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean has also ordered the declaration of Geylang and Little India as Liquor Control Zones (LCZs) with effect from today. 

Within the LCZs, additional restrictions for the consumption of liquor in public places will be imposed on weekends and public holidays. Public drinking will not be allowed in these zones from 7am on Saturdays to 7am the following Monday, and from 7pm of the eve of a public holiday to 7am the day after the public holiday.

Retail sale of takeaway liquor in these zones will also start earlier on weekends and public holidays. Retail stores in these zones cannot sell alcohol from 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and the eve of public holidays. Offences committed within these zones will result in a penalty of one-and-a-half times that in non-designated areas.

Most of the retailers TODAY spoke to opted to adopt a wait-and-see attitude on whether they would be applying for an extension of trading hours to sell alcohol beyond 10.30pm. In its FAQ, the police had said that applications would be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Prime Supermarket said it would consider applying for the extension, provided later sales of alcohol do not create a nuisance for residents in nearby neighbourhoods.

“Perhaps (the issuing authority) could do a survey. If the neighbourhood is safe enough, and (it does) not cause any nuisance to residents, then we will apply for licence ... We would base (our decision) on the selling environment and locations,” said a spokesperson, adding that the extension could go up to 12 midnight to cater to those who work till late.

Managing director of YES Supermarket Kwek Hong Lim said the company is unlikely to apply for the extension at this point in time but will continue to monitor the situation. “There is a certain reason to implement this shorter hours of sales of alcohol …  I don’t think we’ll do it this at this moment. It defeats the purpose,” said Mr Kwek. 

On the other hand, manager of online delivery service Ringtodrink Ben Xavier said the company would be keen to apply for an extension, as 10.30pm is one of its peak hours for online orders. 

The company’s current retail liquor shop licence allows it to operate until midnight and Mr Xavier hopes the extension would cover until 3am.

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