Pubs, bars and restaurants will be allowed to sell takeaway alcohol for the month of July, with the ACT government moving to reintroduce a Covid support measure as hospitality venues face a drop in trade.
Business and Better Regulation Minister Tara Cheyne said all on-licence venues would be eligible for the scheme, which was first introduced as a temporary measure last year.
"Canberrans are reminded that this is a great time to support the local businesses that support us," Ms Cheyne said.
"Money you spend in local businesses goes back into the community and supports local jobs."
The managing director of Siren Bar and Restaurant in Gungahlin, Dan Gaul, said he supported the change.
"It's been a constant battle for Canberra's pubs over the past 16 months, and unfortunately it's continuing," Mr Gaul said in a statement.
"Because of this announcement, any Canberra concerned by the health situation will now be able to enjoy Canberra's best draught beer from their own home."
The general manager of the Australian Hotels Association ACT branch, Anthony Brierley, welcomed the initiative, which the association had lobbied for.
"We only approached the government about it on midday Monday and by Wednesday they've come up with a solution. That's really responsive and we're really grateful for that," Mr Brierley said.
Mr Brierley said he thought patrons would become more comfortable wearing masks in public spaces and some demand would return.
"Mask wearing is a shock, and that impacts demand in hospitality venues. I think people will get used to it pretty quickly. Hopefully that demand bounces back," he said.
"Conversely, if there's coronavirus in the ACT and there's lockdown, just selling take-away liquor isn't going to go far enough."
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Mr Brierley said cash support for hospitality businesses might become necessary if the coronavirus outbreak continued.
"There's no Commonwealth support at all. So it's not just the ACT government on the hook here," he said.
Mr Brierley said takeaway alcohol sales allowed hospitality businesses to pay their fixed costs and rent, but it did not generate much profit.
"It keeps their heads above water, which is immensely preferable to drowning," he said.
Access Canberra and the ACT government's business liaison team would work directly with businesses who were looking to offer take-away alcohol, the ACT government said in a statement.
Licensed venues were allowed to temporarily serve takeaway alcohol during the coronavirus shutdown so the businesses could keep trading.
More than 200 free permits were issued for three months after pubs, clubs and restaurants were forced to close in March 2020 to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Cafes and restaurants did not reopen until May last year.
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