The off-sales easement, which allows hospitality venues permitted to sell alcohol to carry on doing so for consumption away from its premises, will be in place for a further year after its relaxation to the rules was due to end in September this year.
NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “The extension of the off-sales easement from the Government has come at a key moment within the recovery of the sector, as we move into the summer season.”
Consider other areas
He continued: “This is without a doubt a step forward, but we must also ask Government to consider other areas of deregulation and easement that would support a broader range of businesses within the night-time economy and hospitality sectors.
“These additional considerations would support the recovery of the sector by removing barriers and streamlining process to encourage investment, growth and jobs.
“We continue to work with Government and key stakeholders to develop these opportunities and further financial reliefs as we transition to new PM and cabinet with a fresh outlook on the situation.”
Introduced during Covid
The legislation to allow the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises up to 11pm as long as there was already on-sales permission on the licence until at least that time, was introduced in July 2020 through the Business & Planning Act 2020.
It was done so to help the on-trade recover from the effects of the pandemic and also allowed customers to take alcohol outside their premises in an “open container” until 11pm even where there was a condition on the premises licence that otherwise restricted this. The relaxation also permitted alcohol to be sold for delivery up to 11pm.
Last month, licensing solicitor Poppleston Allen warned licensees the relaxation to off-sales trading was approaching its end and gave advice to operators in terms of assessing their premises licence.