Health chiefs to ban free alcoholic drinks at hairdressers

Health chiefs are to call time on free alcoholic drinks in hair salons.

The growing trend sees gin and tonics or glasses of prosecco offered in place of the traditional tea or coffee.

The forthcoming Public Health Bill includes regulations which ban the supply of alcohol for free.

Health Minister Simon Harris hopes the laws will be passed by the end of the year.

Alcohol awareness groups have claimed customers are being urged to post pictures of themselves enjoying a drink while getting their hair done.

Alcohol Ireland has warned that the practice normalises drinking, adding that the new legislation is about tackling the pervasiveness of alcohol in people’s everyday lives.

The controversial bill has come in for criticism from consumer agencies, retailers and the drinks industry in recent years, but Minister Harris has insisted it will pass with only minor changes from its original draft.

It is believed smaller retailers will now be exempt from “booze curtain” rules obliging shops to “structurally separate” alcohol from other produce.

The drinks industry has warned that the legislation will make Ireland one of the most restrictive countries in the world for marketing alcohol.

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