Liquor Licensing Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

The South Australian Government has recently announced a number of measures to support businesses as they attempt to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures include the issuing of short-term liquor licences and waivers and refunds of fees for cancelled events.

Takeaway or delivery of alcohol

The issuing of short-term liquor licences to certain existing permanent liquor licence holders will allow for the sale of alcohol by way of takeaway or delivery subject to quantity limits. Permanent liquor licence holders who hold the following licences may apply:

  • Restaurant and Catering Licence;
  • Residential Licence;
  • Small Venue Licence;
  • Club Licence; and
  • On-premises Licence.

Many businesses are adapting and changing their service models to continue to operate as we go through this crisis. These short-term liquor licences will assist these businesses as they change the way they do things.

It is important to note that the issuing of a short-term licence to the abovementioned licensees is not automatic and an application must be made through Consumer and Business Services. However, there is no fee for existing licence holders to apply.

Waiver of fees

An additional measure announced as part of the Marshall Liberal Government economic stimulus package is the waiver of liquor licensing fees for the 2020 – 2021 year for certain licence holders. Liquor licensing fees will be waived in full for liquor licences in the following categories:

  • Restaurant and Catering Licence;
  • Residential Licence;
  • Small Venue Licence;
  • Club Licence;
  • On-Premises Licence; and
  • Liquor Production and Sales Licence.

This measure has been announced to provide support to businesses most affected by restrictions on trade caused by the new social distancing requirements.

Cancellation of events

Where a short term licence has been issued for a particular event, and that event will no longer be going ahead due to COVID-19, licence holders may be entitled to a full refund of the application fee.

It is important to note that a refund is not automatic and requires an application to be made through Consumer and Business Services. You will need to upload a copy of the licence that you want to cancel.

Closure of wineries, cellar doors and restaurants located at wineries

Wineries, cellar doors and restaurants located at wineries were ordered to close to the public with closures becoming effective from midnight on Monday the 30th of March.

Sales may still be made online or by telephone orders provided that the liquor licence held by that business permits direct sales to the public. Any businesses affected by the shutdown should check their liquor licence to ensure that it permits direct sales to be made to the public.

Further information

Further information in respect of these changes is available online through Consumer and Business Services. If you have any questions or need assistance with making an application for a new licence or obtaining a refund, then please get in touch with us.

For more information, please contact:
Sandy Donaldson

Sandy Donaldson
p.  +61 8 8124 1954
e.  Email me

This communication provides general information which is current as at the time of production. The information contained in this communication does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such. Professional advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information. Should you wish to discuss any matter raised in this alert, or what it means for you, your business or your clients' businesses, please feel free to contact us.

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