The government has dropped its restriction on Sunday liquor sales. The change was announced Tuesday morning by José Serrano and Fernando Alvarado, Ecuador’s ministers for the interior and tourism, and applies to all commercial establishments that sell beer, wine and liquor.
The new national rules also allow for longer serving hours in bars and restaurants. The current rules had been applied in 2010.
Serrano said that the change was made to boost Ecuador’s tourism industry but said it would also help revive commercial sales in general. Government opponents claim the change is recognition of a failed tax policy they say would hurt consumption and produce less revenue.
The new policy will take affect today and will be reviewed in six months. “We will observe how the new rules work and make adjustments if necessary,” Alvarado said. The national police will be in charge of granting new licenses to sell liquor, which must be renewed every two years.
Under the new rules, bars and night clubs can sell liquor until 4 a.m. on weekend nights and until 1 a..m. Mondas to Thursday, and until 10 p.m. Sunday. Liquor stores will be allowed to sell until 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until midnight on Sunday.
The government will allow sales in restaurants and cafes until midnight every day.
Supermarkets will be allowed to sell liquor every day until 10 p.m.