Heath chiefs to call time on alcohol at hairdressers

Hairdressing salons could be banned from offering free drinks to customers under new legislation

Heath chiefs to call time on alcohol at hairdressers

Image: Jens Kalaene/DPA/PA Images

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

It has emerged that the upcoming Public Health (Alcohol) Bill could block hairdressing salons and barbershops from offering free alcoholic drinks to customers in place of tea or coffee.

The free glass of gin and tonic, prosecco or beer is increasingly on offer in many salons around the country.

The Department of Health has now confirmed that the upcoming alcohol bill includes regulations which can ban the supply of alcohol where it is offered for free.

The Health Minister Simon Harris is hoping the new legislation 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; however 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.