Lithuania's parliament, Seimas, backed a proposal to ease restrictions on the sale of alcoholic drinks, allowing beverages with up to 15 percent alcohol to be sold at non-stationary beach cafes.
On Tuesday, 68 lawmakers voted in favour of the amendments to the Alcohol Control Law that will come into effect on August 15.
The sale of low-alcohol drinks at beach cafes will be allowed only during the tourist season which is set by municipal authorities. Consumption and sale of strong alcoholic beverages on the beaches will remain prohibited.
The authors of the proposal argued that it would allow to limit illegal sale and consumption of alcohol on Lithuanian beaches, as well as reduce discrimination between stationary and non-stationary catering outlets.
Lithuanian Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga, however, said that “there is no place” for alcohol on the beach.
“International organisations confirmed that Lithuania was right to undertake such decisions [to ban alcohol on the beaches]. […] However, the [parliamentary] elections are coming and there is a need to appeal to the society,” commented Veryga.
The law that banned the sale of all alcohol on the beaches was passed by the Lithuanian parliament in 2017 and came into effect in January 2020.