The Covid-19 lockdown has certainly been a trying time not only for liquor consumers around the country but also for liquor manufacturers, distributors and sellers that have been unable to operate their business during this time. With the opening of liquor sales under lockdown level 3, this position will hopefully quickly change.
Although the Covid-19 regulations to date have prohibited applications for event or special liquor licenses, it is silent on permanent liquor license applications and renewal of liquor licenses. As liquor authorities are not included in the bracket of essential services or permitted services under Level 4, liquor authorities have not been operational during the lockdown and liquor licence renewals have accordingly not been processed.
The President has indicated that most Government authorities will return to service under Level 3 and it can be expected that this will include liquor authorities, particularly as liquor sales will also resume and licensing and permits will be required.
Up till now most liquor authorities suspended liquor license renewals and our reading of the situation is that these suspensions are still in force until further notice by liquor authorities. One can however expect the suspensions to be lifted the moment liquor authorities are operational and applications and renewals would then need to be processed to ensure legal manufacturing, distribution and sales.
A word of caution - if your license is up for renewal, don’t delay and rather make sure you have your application for renewal submitted as soon as you are able to do so given the potential for backlogs and bottlenecks as liquor authorities get back to work. Don’t hesitate to contact us should you need assistance with your license renewals.