According to the government councilor of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, we live in an absurd situation when we have to consider what is necessary.
Discussions are now taking place on possible restrictions on movement, and in connection with them Hufvudstadsbladet raised the question of whether Alko could catch up if movement restrictions came.
Restrictions on movement in many countries have been accompanied by the fact that only essential shopping, such as in a grocery store or pharmacy, has been allowed.
The question therefore arises as to how the essential needs would be defined. And when the necessities begin to be defined, what category, for example, does alcohol fall into?
Government Counselor at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Ismo Tuominen He states that he is not aware that restrictions are now being prepared which would allow movement only for, for example, essential shopping. Nor can he say how necessary alcohol would be defined.
– There has been no such debate. To my knowledge, the closure of Alko has not been considered, and if alcohol were defined as non-essential, it must be remembered that more than half of the alcohol is sold in grocery stores, in which case the restrictions should also apply to them, Tuominen says.
Tuominen recalls that a situation in which one has to consider in this way what is necessary for a person is unprecedented worldwide and feels absurd. According to him, restrictions on movement would, in principle, affect almost all trade activities.
– If there are any restrictions on movement, then, in principle, it would automatically affect the closure of several different shops. Be it Alko or Ikea or whatever, Tuominen says.
He says that in some countries, for example, restrictions have been made so that a store can be open when at least 75% of its products are defined as essential, but no specialty stores can be open.
It is clear that food, for example, is essential, but defining the necessity of different products is a new situation. For example, the hardware store only becomes necessary when the need for nails and a hammer comes into the home.
– Think about the fridge breaking down in your home. Where do you store food when you can’t get to the home appliance store to get a new refrigerator, Tuominen asks.
– The whole situation is really absurd, and no one in the world has any experience of this. That is, such legislation, which makes such drastic decisions.
Tuominen says that he has studied what kind of restrictions have been set in other parts of the world. He says that in one model, you should only move outside with a permit stamp, which should indicate where, why and for how long the person is on the move and the police would have the right to check this permit.
– In this model, for example, that home appliance store should be open, but you should only go there with a permit, Tuominen says.
According to him, another model would be that there is no restriction on movement but a restriction on where to go. That would limit what might be open. The introduction recalls that the goal of all models is the same; get people to stay at home and avoid unnecessary contacts.
According to Tuominen, the closure of Alko has not been prepared and the people do not have to rush to Alko to hoard wine.
– If anyone has insider information about Alko, then it would probably be me. And I haven’t been hoarding. My own Easter wines are still on Alko’s shelf, and there is no rush to pick them up yet, Tuominen laughs.
Read more: Will Alcohol be closed if movement restrictions take effect? This is how the councilor commented in the HBL
Source site www.is.fi