San José among municipalities not applying prohibition for Semana Santa


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The list of municipalities not prohibiting the sale of alcohol during Thursday and Friday of Semana Santa is growing.

As of Thursday night, fourteen municipalities have said the taps will flow within their jurisdictions, joining the municipality of Nicoya, in Guanacaste, the first to say prohibition would hurt local tourism.

Not applying the “ley seca” (dry law) this year are the municipalities of: Guatuso, Osa, San Ramón, Coto Brus, Parrita, Cañas, Talamanca, Corredores, Curridabat, San José, Nicoya, San Ramón, Aguirre, Monteverde and Guácimo.

The new Ley de Regulación y Comercialización de Bebidas con Contenido Alcohólico  (Regulatory and Marketing Act of Alcoholic Beverages Act) that went into effect last year gives each municipality the power to decide to maintain prohibition or allow the sale of alcohol during Holy week. Municipalities have up to Wednesday, March 27, to decide.

In municipalities that decide to keep prohibition, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, etc, are prohibited from selling any alcohole – beer, wine and liquor – from 12:01am Thursday to 12:01am Saturday.

The fines for breaching prohibition are stiff and can include the revoking of a liquort license.