The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that as of Friday, January 18, all food products containing alcohol, excluding beverages, will be officially exempt from the rules of the Liquor Control Act, which means you can now buy and enjoy your rum and raisin ice cream in public places after 10:30PM.
The Liquor Control Act, which was enacted in April 2015, prohibited retail outlets from selling any products containing at least 0.5 percent alcohol between 10:30PM and 7:00AM nightly. Consumption of any such products, food and beverages alike, in public places was also banned during the same hours.
But things have changed. MHA released a press release on Thursday, lifting the ban on public sale and consumption of food products with alcohol content during the previously banned hours.
Following the change, the MHA and the police will be monitoring “the ground situation”. The Liquor Control Act will then be amended and updated as necessary, based on findings on the ground.
The change in legislation is accredited to industry and public feedback, which argued that certain food products containing alcohol, such as the popular ice cream flavour rum raisin, need no be regulated. It was pointed out that people are unlikely to abuse such food products the way they do beverages.
Liquor can still be sold and consumed in bars, restaurants and coffee shops during the banned hours, providing that the proper licences and liquor permits have been obtained.
For places like Little India and Geylang, which have been marked as Liquor Control Zones, laws are stricter. Alcohol cannot be sold or consumed in public places from 7PM on Saturday to 7AM on Monday.
The Liquor Control Act became necessary to legislate after an incident in December 2013, when hundreds of foreign workers clashed with anti-riot forces after a worker was run over by a bus.