Pubs, nightclubs and restaurants will have longer to renew their liquor licences this year so they can be ready to open whenever that may be.
Usually liquor licences need renewing at the end of May - with any business which sells alcohol needing one to operate.
While retail premises are currently allowed to operate, pubs and clubs have been closed since 20 March, with most restaurants choosing to close days later before the islands went into full lockdown on 25 March.
With those businesses suffering a complete loss of income, the authorities which oversee liquor licences have decided to give them a six month extension to their 2019/20 permissions to help them through this period.
Pictured: Les Folies D'Amour and other premises remain closed as the lockdown continues.
Under the Liquor Licensing Ordinance 2006, premises are required to renew their liquor licence, which includes paying an annual fee, by 31 May each year.
The Committee for Home Affairs said it "recognises that the current regulations which have required premises to close will have meant, for many, a complete loss of income. The uncertainty of when trade might be able to recommence will have compounded financial concerns."
With that in mind, Home Affairs has worked with the Policy & Resources Committee and Law Officers to draft an amendment to the Liquor Licensing Ordinance to move the renewal date for 2020 from May to November.
Pictured: Deputy Mary Lowe, President of Home Affairs, and Committee Member, Deputy Mark Leadbeater.
HA said; "without this change, whilst premises could choose not to renew their licence at the end of May, before they could recommence trading the legislation would have required them to make a fresh application, which is both more costly and likely to further delay premises reopening."
The President of the Committee for Home Affairs, Deputy Lowe hopes it will help those businesses which rely on liquor sales later this year.
“We are conscious that, along with many other business, the licensed trade have been hit hard financially by the impact of Covid-19 shutting businesses.
"It is hoped that delaying the date by which premises are required to renew their licence should provide some temporary relief to the trade. In addition this change provides flexibility to consideration whether fees for any groups should be reduced in November. We are confident that this legislative change will be in place by the end of this month.”
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