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Govt. enforces legal drinking age

With bars and nightclubs reopening after two months of state of emergency enforced closure, the Government has resolved to enforce the legal drinking age of 21 years old in Samoa.

Last Wednesday, the Cabinet stressed the focus on enforcement in a Directive (FK(20) 22) that should a business sell alcohol to an under 21-year-old, their license may be revoked on top of other relevant penalties in the laws.

In Samoa, there is no specific legal age for drinking alcohol. 

But the Liquor Act only allows those over 21 years old to purchase alcohol.

A person under the age of 21 years who buys an alcoholic drink can be fined up to $50.

"[The Government resolves to] prohibit the selling of selling alcohol to anyone below the age of 21 years of age anywhere," the FK(20) 22 reads.

"Anyone under the age of 21 years old [... is prohibited from entry to...[ a bar or nightclub. Should this directive not be adhered to, the license will be revoked plus other penalties outlined under the Act for these businesses."

One of the most popular nightclubs, ROSA Nightclub and Bar, notified their customers online to bring identification to ensure they are not stopped from entering.

"If you are one of those lucky people who always get asked about your age then please come with any form of I.D to avoid any inconvenience and lengthy procedures by the Authorities," wrote General Manager, Faumui Alexander Mauli in a statement released online.

"As always we are a [strictly] 21+ premises. Your cooperation is very much appreciated and as always we thank you for your support."

The Liquor Act of Samoa prohibits selling or supplying any liquor to a person under the age of 21 years.

Any person who sells or supplies liquor to a person under the age of 21 is liable to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both

A licensee commits an offence and is liable to the same penalty if a person under 21 years is allowed to come into possession of or drink liquor on the licensed premises.

Nightclubs and bars are only allowed to open from Monday to Saturday, from 2pm to 10pm.

All fundraising dances are strictly prohibited. However, hotel shows are allowed with the two-metre social distancing policy to be adhered to at all times.

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