SA government grants licensed food outlets permission to sell liquor

Country food outlets forced to shut their dining spaces to the public in response to COVID-19 have been granted temporary permission to sell liquor alongside their takeaway options.

The win for licensed cafes, restaurants, small bars and local clubs is designed to support those owners and managers who face downturns because of the widespread coronavirus.

Temporary changes take effect from Thursday, March 26, with restrictions.

The approval is expected to provide a glimmer of hope to the hundreds of regional outlets which further rely on the tourist dollar to maintain their businesses.

Islanders' Tavern on Hindmarsh Island already sell takeaway alcohol due to their special liquor licensing.

Supervisor Amber Pointer said to help keep the business afloat, alcohol has been added to customer's food takeaway purchases, which now includes pick up and home delivery.

"We have white and red wine and beer...," Ms Pointer shared.

And it's certainly going to be beneficial in these challenging times for the normally bustling tavern which is located on an small island with no nearby bottle shops.

"It will be a extra convenience for our customers," she added.

According the state government, liquor-licence holders will be able to apply for a free, short-term and temporary licence to sell drink with any takeaway meal.

But purchases will be limited to two bottles of wine or one bottle of wine and a six-pack of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits.

The change will require the same stringent responsible service requirements already imposed on takeaway liquor.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman stressed that hospitality was an important industry.

"... we appreciate there are many in the sector who are struggling as a result of circumstances that are clearly beyond their control," she said.

"This measure is temporary and goes beyond the allowances for takeaway liquor and meals to be provided by pubs and hotels."

Ms Chapman said further measures would be considered by the government as the situation unfolded.

"Where possible, we want to help businesses survive in the face of continually changing economic conditions," she said.