Hainan province has banned alcohol ban at official receptions, the People's Daily reported on Jan 15.

Over the past few years, authorities in Hainan province have issued rules regulating the consumption of alcohol among civil servants.

For example, government officials in the province's Baoting county are strictly prohibited from drinking alcohol during lunchtime on workdays.

But applying the rules to the whole province is a new issue.

"Many officials have expected such a ban long before the regulation," the newspaper quoted Wang Min, a township official in Hainan province, as saying.

"Drinking will influence your work, weaken your judgment. Every year the government will organize officials to have physical examinations. Many of them who used to drink a lot come to stop drinking, after knowing the harm inflicted by alcohol."

There are also concerns over whether the regulation will be effectively enforced.

"Prohibiting lunchtime drinking is easier because people will worry that it may influence their work in the afternoon," the newspaper quoted a man surnamed Lin as saying.

"But it will be very hard for dinner time. What's more, while the regulation prohibits officials from Hainan province from drinking at receptions, how about officials from other provinces who are visiting and ask for a drink?"

The regulation has also caught the attention of alcohol retailers. A storekeeper in Haikou, the capital of Hainan province, said the policy will certainly influence the alcohol business, but not too much.


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