Under the Liquor Licensing Ordinance 2006, premises are required to renew their liquor licence, through the payment of the relevant fee, by 31st May each year.
The Committee for Home Affairs 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.
Working with the Policy & Resources Committee and Law Officers an amendment has been requested to the Liquor Licensing Ordinance to move the renewal date for 2020 from May to November.
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 said: “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.”