Prague wants to extend its drinking ban to 200 more places from July

A nighttime ban on drinking at Náplavka, stricter rules for open containers, and no drinking near public transit is likely.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 17.05.2022 12:48:00 (updated on 17.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

It will likely become harder for people to drink alcohol in public in Prague this summer. The return of tourists has the city administration considering an expansion of the number of places where drinking is banned. The new rules could include the popular Náplavka waterfronts after midnight.

The ban on consuming alcoholic beverages could be expanded by about 200 more places in Prague as of July 1. It will also be possible for police to fine people for having an open container. Currently, a police officer has to see a person actually drinking alcohol.

The move coincides with the Prague administration’s efforts to shake the city’s image as a hub for alco-tourism, and instead promote culture.

The City Council at its meeting today discussed making an amendment to the decree on alcohol consumption in public spaces. The amendment was supported by councilors from TOP 09, STAN, and Praha Sobě, while the Pirates abstained.

The full 65-member Prague Assembly – which includes opposition parties as well as the ruling coalition – still has to approve the change. They will discuss the proposal at the end of May. The decree on consuming alcohol in public was last amended in 2013.

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“Tourists are returning to Prague and with them some problems with order, especially in the streets in the center. The main goal of the new decree is to protect existing residents as much as possible from noise and clutter in the vicinity of their home,” Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček said.

If the amendment is approved, between midnight and 9 am consuming alcoholic beverages will be banned on the waterfront along the Dvořákovo nábřeží, Rašínovo nábřeží, Masarykovo nábřeží, nábřeží Ludvíka Svobody, and Smíchovská náplavka.

City Councilor Jan Chabr said the city wants the embankment to have a rest regime at night. He added that the city was responding to concerns and complaints, especially from the inhabitants living near Rašínovo nábřeží, where there is noise late into the night due to people on the waterfront.

The proposed amendment also expands the existing list of Prague squares, parks, and some streets where it is forbidden to drink alcohol in public. So far, alcohol consumption is banned in about 800 places in the metropolis. The new decree will expand the number to about 1,000 places. Drinking, though, would still be allowed in the gardens of restaurants and at stalls with refreshments, even if those locations were on the list of banned areas.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages will also not be allowed on playgrounds or near schools and medical facilities. Alcohol consumption will also be prohibited within 100 meters of the entrances to metro stations and public transport platforms.

The ban will not apply on Dec. 31 and Jan 1, so there can still be New Year celebrations. Planned events such as wine festivals, concerts, or sporting events would also be exempt from the ban.

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