Easter 2020 was not quite the festive occasion Sydneysiders were used to. Lockdown measures were in place across the country, with sweeping limitations placed on the ways hospitality businesses could trade. To help beleaguered restaurant, café and bar owners, the NSW government did something many people had been hoping it would do for years: it relaxed the strict trading restrictions usually in place on Good Friday.
Pre-2020, bottleshops were banned from selling takeaway grog all day, and licensed venues could only serve on the premises from midday until 10pm. However, last year these rules were broadly relaxed, with clubs, pubs, small bars, cafés and restaurants allowed to sell food and alcohol to take away, albeit still within the ten-hour window between midday and 10pm. So, while bottleshops were required to shut up shop as per, booze could still be bought from numerous other sources.
However, this brave new normal will not be continued for Easter 2021. In a statement to Time Out, a spokesperson for Liquor and Gaming NSW said that the old pre-2020 rules would be in full effect again this year: “The special arrangements for takeaway alcohol and food in place for Good Friday in 2020 will not be repeated this year. These were one-off measures to benefit businesses and consumers during the COVID-10 lockdown period.”
So there you have it. We should perhaps be thankful that the old rules are back in play – it’s a heartening indication that normality is returning. But if you are caught short on Good Friday with a need for the drink and an empty chilly bin, check out our feature about the one handy loophole that could help you out.