In what can only be described as a small silver lining on the the extraordinarily dark cloud that Covid-19 has cast over the hospitality industry, venues in New South Wales are now permitted to sell alcohol for takeaway and home delivery.
The concession comes into effect this morning, one day after the federal government’s decision to close “non-essential” businesses and services across the country came into effect. A statement from Liquor & Gaming NSW acknowledged that the current climate had placed “unprecedented pressures on industry” and that “exceptional circumstances require flexibility on the part of the regulator".
While bars and pubs found themselves shutting their doors temporarily alongside many restaurants just yesterday, these more relaxed restrictions potentially offer an opportunity to survive the prospect of being closed for what could be up to six months. At any given time, licensed premises are sitting on tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock – much of which isn’t often available at local retailers.
As for enforcement, Liquor & Gaming NSW recognises that “the risk profile of certain venues has changed and measures put in place to manage these risks are, in the current environment, largely redundant". Serious offences, however, like sale to intoxicated persons or under-18s, will remain closely monitored.
Restaurants and cafés around the city have launched innovative initiatives to adapt to the pandemic, and now, with the potential to offer glassware for hire, cocktail equipment, coasters, garnishes and playlists, our favourite places to bend the elbow can now join the (house) party.
We’ll do our best to keep you up to date with current offerings, but be sure to check the social media accounts of your favourite venues for the latest information.
To read the full statement from Liquor & Gaming NSW, click here.
Please remember to be responsible and take hygienic precautions before leaving the house, entering a venue and interacting with others. And be sure to remain at home if you are feeling even the slightest bit unwell.