Liquor & Gaming NSW has put its support behind a new campaign launched by the Eastern Suburbs Liquor Accord, called ‘Stop the Spread – Enjoy @ Home’.

The campaign aims to encourage people not to risk breaching COVID-19 Public Health Orders and drink their takeaway alcohol at home rather than on the streets. The campaign comes after nine businesses in Bondi had their liquor licences suspended for seven days because of concerns over COVID Public Health Orders.

Marcel Savary, Liquor & Gaming’s Director of Compliance, said when new COVID restrictions were announced, provisions were set for licensed venues to sell takeaway alcohol with or without food to support businesses during these difficult times.

“We appreciate these are really difficult times for industry and have granted significant concessions to businesses who would not normally be allowed to sell takeaway alcohol,” Mr Savary said.

“Unfortunately, a small number of venues in Bondi and Coogee were selling takeaway cocktails in ready to consume format, resulting in customers congregating on the street and effectively turning the businesses into so-called ‘kerbside bars

“This also contributed to people drinking in other alcohol-free zones such as nearby parks. In response Liquor and Gaming NSW issued directions to a number of those businesses and launched joint follow-up inspections with NSW Police.”

The campaign was launched last weekend and now stickers urging patrons to enjoy their takeaway alcohol at home can be seen on sealed containers of drinks and other takeaway packaging, along with posters throughout the local area.

There has subsequently been a significant reduction in street drinking and people in contravention of Public Health Orders, according to the NSW Government.

“We’re really pleased to see the initiative taken by the Eastern Suburbs Liquor Accord along with local police to keep people COVID safe and drive home the message that takeaway alcohol should be enjoyed at home to stop the spread,” Savary said.

“With the weather improving we know that customers in other similar locations around Sydney might be tempted to drink their alcohol out and about. We will work with Liquor Accords across the State to implement this excellent industry-driven campaign,” he added.

Adam Purcell, Chair of Eastern Suburbs Liquor Accord, said the relaxation of takeaway alcohol regulations by Liquor & Gaming NSW allows the accord’s members to salvage some lost revenue during the lockdown period.

“This Liquor Accord initiative driven by our members is important, as it reminds patrons of the necessity to return home and enjoy their alcohol purchases in a safe environment.”

Under new regulatory directions, licensees who wish to sell takeaway alcohol and cocktails must implement appropriate controls, including:

  • All takeaway alcohol sold or supplied should be packaged in sealed vessels,
  • Cups, straws, ice, and other items promoting immediate consumption must not be sold or supplied for takeaway with alcohol,
  • The venue’s promotional material and activities must not promote or otherwise encourage the consumption of takeaway alcohol in any public place or any other activity which would breach the public heath orders,
  • Notices should be prominently placed at the point of sale, directing patrons that alcohol is for consumption at home, and
  • The venue must continue to comply with all public health requirements and implement COVID-Safe controls specific to the take-away portion of the business, including social distancing and queue management.

Failing to comply with directions under the Liquor Act 2007 (the Act) carries a penalty of up to $11,000. Venues can also be closed for continued non-compliance under the Public Health Act 2010.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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