09:22 GMT +323 February 2019
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    Belarus limits alcohol sales in second region

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    MINSK, July 30 (RIA Novosti) - The Vitebsk region in northern Belarus will introduce restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages effective August 1, following a similar move by the capital Minsk, local authorities said Monday.

    "The measure is designed to prevent alcohol abuse and alcohol-related crime," a regional police official said.

    The Vitebsk region has recorded the highest number of alcohol poisoning deaths in Belarus, with 226 fatalities reported in the first six months of this year and over 80% of all crimes in the region attributed to alcohol abuse.

    As of August 1, the sale of alcoholic beverages, except for low-alcoholic drinks, will only be permitted until 11 p.m., while outlets with a trading floor space of less than 25 square meters will not even be permitted to sell low-alcohol beverages, including beer.

    Restrictions have been in force in the Belarusian capital Minsk for the past year and a half.

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