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Temporary alcohol licensing measures to support hospitality sector

Temporary changes have been made to alcohol licensing laws on Island to support the hospitality trade.

Government has confirmed the Licensing (Amendment) Act 2020 has now come into force with some non-permanent alterations.

The changes come following collaboration between the Department of Home Affairs and Business Isle of Man.

As a result, any business with a valid alcohol licence will be able to operate for another year automatically without having to re-apply to the Licensing Court.

The deferral of the triennial session of the Court - from March 2021 to March 2022 - coincides with a one-off, fee-free year for each existing licence within that period.

Meanwhile, until the end of September, any sections of highway adjacent to a licensed premises may be used as part of the venue, if a pavement license is granted.

This means that hospitality businesses with an existing on-licence can apply for a pavement café licence which would allow them to serve alcohol within this area without having to apply to the Licensing Court for an amendment to their on-licence.

Both changes, government says, are in response to industry concerns about the impact of COVID-19 and were developed together with representatives from the sector.

Enterprise Minister, Laurence Skelly MHK, says: "We welcome and support these amendments which aim to offer relief and opportunity in the shorter term to hospitality businesses.

"The hospitality sector is an essential part of the day-to-day lives of local residents, improving quality of life and helping to make the Isle of Man an attractive place to live, work and invest, as well as being a draw to visitors of our Island."

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