Restrictions were relaxed yesterday here on the Isle of Man. In an arguable move by the decision makers, the scales were tipped in favour of breathing life into the local economy. Builders and other outdoor professions are now working under strict conditions. Other elements of retail have been switched on too. An eye catcher for the Manx public was the activation of the ice cream parlours around the Island.
This attracted comment around the social media circles that have been spinning wildly since C19 hit our shores. I’m confident that our sellers of glorious Whippys and will be more than careful in governing the long queues in the sunshine.
This has made me think about the local drinks industry that has been virtually condemned to the gallows. Talk of pubs and bars being shut till Christmas hit the headlines last week. Anybody connected with the industry baulked at the thought of holding out till then. Livelihoods are at stake.
By the sheer nature of bars, contamination and infection is difficult to control. Especially as the night progresses and the drink has been flowing.
In the meantime and whilst a glorious summer unfurls, could the Isle of Man drinks industry be allowed to mimic the relaxed rules for the ice cream parlour?
The essence of this thought is for a kiosk style sale of alcohol products. Obviously, there will be no glass involved and the licensee will be looking out for prohibited persons and not selling liquor to anybody worse for wear.
The rules for drinking in public will need to be put to bed for a while. At least this will mean responsible adults can step away from the home and support local businesses. Perhaps it could be confined to sales of locally produced products? The Isle of Man public are passionate at supporting local trade in troubled times.
The wise restrictions concerning social distancing must be adhered to. This suggestion is geared to supporting certain premises that are by design, suited to this concept. Selling products that are tailored for a customer who, instead of fancying an ice cream, will prefer a refreshing beer, fizz or cocktail in a disposable vessel.
Certain premises may be able to accommodate patrons in a beer garden whilst observing the seating rules similar to those on public transport.
The bottom line is the level of responsible behaviour and self control. This isn’t about going out and drinking a gallon, it’s asking for a spot of common sense and perhaps escaping the confines and risks of drinking at home.