25 Sep 2021

Auckland liquor licence hold-ups likely as bars, restaurants make adjustments for level 2

3:24 pm on 25 September 2021

Auckland Council expects an influx of outdoor dining licence applications, from cafes and restaurants preparing to do kerbside service at alert level 2.


Bar Photo: 123rf.com

Meanwhile, it warns agencies are taking longer to process alcohol licences, which could hit hospitality businesses preparing for socially distanced service.

The council is extending the expiry date on existing dining licences and said new ones will be processed quicker - as will new street trading licences.

Auckland councillor Linda Cooper said businesses are preparing for a more challenging alert level 2 than last time, due to more restrictions such as increased social distancing.

"When you're not at full capacity often the costs outweigh the revenue and that can be difficult for people already facing losses. So I guess for most of them, they've just got to try and do the best they can. But I really feel for people in hospitality. It's been really tough. That's why we're trying to make things easier," she said.

Before the council can issue a licence, the application needs to be assessed by police and the Medical Officer of Health.

Cooper said both agencies were heavily involved in the Covid-19 response so applications cannot be left until last minute.

She noted bars and restaurants wanting to set up kerbside dining, while indoor numbers are restricted, will need an alcohol licence that covers the outdoor area.

"Businesses can't automatically carry on if they change their footprint. They have to make sure that their alcohol licence matches that," she said.

Businesses are also being asked to check the new rules for social distancing and capacity limits, including the use of bathrooms.

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