Rumours are rife on social media that a strict ban on the consumption, sale and purchase of alcohol has been issued “with immediate effect” by the NHS.
The claims are made in a statement that appears to have been sent on paper which has the HM Government and NHS logos at the top.
It reads: “A strict ban of alcohol has been issued with immediate effect.”
The statement added: “Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS has ordered a ban on consumption of alcohol after his team have discovered that the toxin lowers immunity.”
It continued: “This means that all sales have stopped from 29/03/2020. It falls under an emergency health legislation, which means that it is now illegal to purchase, sell and consume alcohol.”
The statement also warned that anyone caught “breaching the new law will be severely sanctioned” to protect everyone against the battle of COVID-19.
However, although it has been widely shared, the statement is actually a fake.
Neither the government nor the NHS has restricted the sale or consumption of alcohol.
However, drinking in pubs and restaurants has been banned, with all pubs closed and Brits under lockdown.
Commenting on the post, one Facebook user said: “WHY would you people share info like that, without double checking it and especially at this moment?!”
There is NOTHING on the government website about alcohol prohibition, nor any announcement on any news network.
“I don’t think it’s true,” said another on the fake post.
Another commented: “This is fake. First, it’s a Microsoft Word document (you can see the white half triangle in the top left and right).”
Alcohol and the immune system
They added: “Second, there is NOTHING on the government website about alcohol prohibition, nor any announcement on any news network.”
The NHS previously published guidance around alcohol and warned of its ability to compromise the immune system.
It said “drinking large amounts of alcohol for many years” could impact the immune system.
The guidance added: “Long-term alcohol misuse can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to serious infections.”
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