By David Tillett (Consultant), Dylan Steel (Partner) and Sarah Legoe (Solicitor)
Hospitality businesses have been severely impacted by measures that have been introduced by Governments to manage the spread of the Coronavirus disease (‘COVID-19’). These measures have seen many venues close and hundreds (if not thousands) of employees stood down from their jobs.
To assist hospitality businesses remain in operation (to the extent permitted) and keep people employed (again to the extent permitted), from 26 March 2020 licensed premises which hold either a restaurant and catering, small venue, club or on-premise licence are able to apply (free of charge) for a short term licence that will permit the sale of takeaway liquor.
The short term licence will permit takeaway liquor to be purchased in the same transaction as a food order, but in quantities not exceeding 2 bottles of wine, or one bottle of wine and a six pack of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits per transaction. Licensees will still need to comply with all of the usual obligations associated with the sale of liquor (i.e. compliance with responsible service of alcohol, Codes of Practice etc).
In addition to the above, venues operating pursuant to a club licence will be able to obtain a short term licence that will permit them to sell liquor for off-premise consumption to club members, without the need to purchase a meal.
These measures will only apply for the period during which to Government is utilising its powers under the Emergency Management Act 2004 (SA) and the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 (SA) to manage the COVID-19 response.
Other measures – waiver of annual fees
The Government has also announced that it will be waiving the annual liquor licensing fee for the fee period commencing 1 July 2020, for the following categories of licence:
- On premise;
- Restaurant and catering;
- Liquor production and sales; and
- Small venue.
The fees for will be waived for general and hotel licences which do not have a bottleshop, and reduced for those who do.
As bottleshops and online liquor sales have not been affected by the Government closures (at this point), fees will not be waived or reduced for those holding a package liquor sales licence. An application will need to be made to CBS for a fee reduction, and any such application is likely to be assessed on its merits.
For further advice and assistance in relation to short term licences, or any issue affecting your hospitality business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact the Commercial Law Team on 08 8216 3394.
Disclaimer: This Article provides a summary of the subject matter only. The information contained within is not intended as advice, legal or otherwise, and should not be relied upon as such. Please contact us should you wish to discuss the subject matter of this article further or to obtain professional advice on the same.