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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

Our vision is that Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.
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The VCGLR regulates businesses focusing on the people, premises, products and promotions involved in supplying gambling to ensure the integrity of Victoria's gambling industries and to minimise harm.
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for licensees

We are working with government departments and agencies to implement a range of measures in response to coronavirus and respond to state of emergency changes to restrictions.

The following outlines the relevant restrictions and support in place relating to gambling and liquor licensees across Victoria.

Restrictions are changing to slow the spread of coronavirus in Victoria.

Temporary Limited Licence available for external, outdoor areas to supply liquor - subject to council permission (outdoor area temp licence)

We have introduced a streamlined approach to help existing licensees temporarily use outdoor areas to supply liquor as outlined in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening

Existing licensees will first need written permission from their local council to use public external/outdoor areas that are not currently authorised under the licensee’s existing permanent liquor licence.

If you have council permission to use the outdoor area, and you subsequently apply for a temporary limited licence (outdoor area temp licence) this may be granted and a licence issued to you that allows the supply of liquor in the outdoor area

There is no fee associated with applying for an outdoor area temp licence.

If you would like to temporarily supply liquor in an outdoor area that falls outside the red-line plan of your existing permanent licence, and the land is privately owned, please contact us to discuss your options.

Eligibility to apply

Eligible licence types

You must hold one of the following permanent licence types to be eligible for an outdoor area temp licence:

  • Club licence (full club or restricted club)
  • On-premises licence or late night (on-premises) licence
  • Restaurant and cafe licence
  • Producer’s licence
  • Renewable limited licence that allows on-premises consumption.

General or late night (general) licences

If you hold a general or late night (general) liquor licence, you may not need to apply for an outdoor area temp licence because, subject to you complying with council’s local laws and/or planning requirements, you can already supply liquor in outdoor areas being footpaths or kerbside areas under your existing licence (see the VCGLR Plan of licensed premises factsheet, see: Plans of licensed premises).

However, if you have a specific condition on your general or late night (general) licence restricting the supply of liquor for consumption off the premises, or want to supply liquor in an outdoor area other than in a footpath or kerbside area, you may wish to apply for an outdoor area temp licence.

BYO permits

If you hold a BYO permit, as that permit does not authorise you to supply liquor to patrons, the VCGLR is currently considering its approach.

Requirements when applying and timeframe

To apply for an outdoor area temp licence, you will need to provide the following documents from your local council with your application:

  1. Written permission from your local council allowing you to use the outdoor area (this may be a permit, licence, or letter issued by the local council).
  2. A plan that clearly describes the boundary of the outdoor area endorsed by your local council (this can be part of the written permission under item 1).
  3. Specified trading hours for the outdoor area, from your local council (this may be part of the written permission under item 1).

In providing these documents, the VCGLR will endeavour to process your application within three (3) business days. If your application is missing any of these documents, this will cause delay and you will be contacted and asked to submit the missing documents.

In certain circumstances the VCGLR may need to seek further information which may also cause delay.

Limitations

If an outdoor area temp licence is issued, you must adhere to the following limitations:

  • Food must be available for purchase at all times when liquor is being supplied.
  • The consumption of liquor may only occur when patrons are seated.
  • The licensee must make available for inspection by a VCGLR gambling and liquor inspector or Victoria Police a copy of the local council’s written permission to use the outdoor area (for example, a permit, licence or letter issued by the local council), including any plan of the outdoor area and the boundary.
  • Trading hours are the lesser of the hours permitted under any Victorian Government directions and/or restrictions in relation to COVID-19, or local council’s written permission to use the outdoor area, or your permanent licence.
  • Maximum patron numbers are the lesser of those permitted under any Victorian Government directions and/or restrictions, or local council’s written permission to use the outdoor area (if patron numbers are specified).
  • The outdoor area temp licence will expire once your local council permission expires.

Nothing in the outdoor area temp licence overrides

  • any Victorian Government directions and/or restrictions in relation to COVID-19
  • trading hours or maximum capacities as determined by local council.

Making an application

To make an application for an outdoor area temp licence, see: Application for a temporary limited licence

Please note there may be content on the online temporary limited licence webpage that may not be applicable to you when applying for an online outdoor area temp licence. For detailed instructions to guide you in lodging an online application for an outdoor area temp licence, see: Instructions to apply for an outdoor area temp licence

The required steps when applying for an outdoor area temp licence, to ensure your application can be accepted are as follows:

  • Set your first event date as the first day you wish to supply liquor, confirm that you will be using public land, and that you have permission to use that land.
  • Ensure that you include your permanent licence number.
  • When prompted to choose an event type, please select “Temporary extension of permanent licence”.
  • Select “No” for extension of hours and “No” for event at your premises, and “yes” for extension of your licensed area.
  • For event occurrences, include the first day you wish to trade, and include the trading hours as they appear on the lesser of your council permit or your permanent liquor licence.
    • Note your outdoor area temp licence will expire once your local council permission expires.
  • In the additional information box, please advise that this application is for outdoor dining as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • You must attach your permit/permission from your local council, your plan as endorsed by your local council, and trading hours endorsed by your local council

Other useful information

Preparing your outdoor area

For advice on how to prepare your outdoor area for outdoor dining, you may want to refer to the Business Victoria “Industry Restart Guidelines – Hospitality”, see: Accommodation and Food Services sector guidance 

Meaning of "outdoors" 

Guidance on the meaning of “outdoors” is contained in a document called “Regional Victoria – Third Step”, which was part of the
Statement from the Premier 15 September 2020

For a full copy of Regional Victoria's third step, see: Regional Victoria third step

In that document, “outdoors” means:

  • a space with no roof; or
  • an open-air space designated for the consumption of food and/or beverage, which may have a temporary or fixed cover (e.g. awning or roof) so long as such cover has at least two open sides to the outdoors for airflow.

Examples used include:

  • balcony or veranda, courtyard, rooftop, marquee, street or footpath, any similar outdoor area.

Further guidance on the meaning of “outdoors” is also available at clause 10(3) of the Restricted Activity Directions (Non-Melbourne) (No 5), see: Restricted Activity Directions

However for the latest restrictions, see: Victoria's restriction levels 

Face coverings and checking ID

Everyone must wear a face covering whenever you leave your home, unless an exception applies. This is enforceable across regional Victoria from 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August.

You can ask a customer to remove a face covering to ascertain their identity to purchase liquor. The process of removing face coverings for this purpose should be undertaken in line with DHHS advice.

Under Victorian liquor laws, it is an offence to supply liquor to persons under the age of 18 years. Licensees and their staff should ask for ID if a customer looks under 25, as best practice.

For more information on face coverings, see: DHHS face coverings

For more information on checking ID, see: Acceptable forms of identification

Restrictions to trade

Metropolitan Melbourne

From 11.59pm Sunday 13 September, some changes to Stage 4 Restrictions are in place across metropolitan Melbourne.

For the definition of metropolitan Melbourne, see: Stage 4 restrictions – who does this apply to, and when

From 13 September, a curfew will be in place in metropolitan Melbourne between the hours of 9pm to 5am. Individuals must be at home during this time with people only allowed to leave their house for work, medical care and caregiving.

While customers cannot pick up takeaway after the 9pm curfew, home delivery is permitted as long as it’s within the hours of your liquor licence. 

The following restrictions apply to licensed venues:

  • restaurants, cafes and other hospitality businesses (including pubs, clubs, hotels, bars and nightclubs) can only offer takeaway and delivery*
  • retail betting venues (i.e. retail TABs), bingo centres and sexually explicit venues must remain closed
  • electronic gaming areas at gaming or gambling venues (including the casino) must remain closed. Venues must ensure that gaming machines are not played.

Bottle shops are permitted to remain open and may deliver liquor, including after 8pm, during the hours permitted by their liquor licence. Bottle shops should close to customers browsing/purchasing at the store by 8pm.

*Venues must have a liquor licence that allows liquor to be supplied for takeaway or delivery. For information on how to apply for a temporary limited licence, see ‘Temporary Limited Licence available to supply liquor off-premises – takeaway and delivery’ below.

For a full list of the local government areas of the Melbourne metropolitan area, see: Victoria's restriction levels

All open businesses and services must enact a COVIDSafe plan focused on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace, see: workplace obligations

Regional Victoria

From 11:59pm on Wednesday 16 September, Regional Victoria will move to the third step towards reopening, see: Victoria’s restriction levels

Restaurants, cafes and pubs can open for predominantly outdoor dining, the following restrictions apply:   

  • limit of ten people per group
  • serve patrons outdoors with a cap of 50 seated patrons per venue. An updated ‘two square metre’ density limit is in place
  • indoors, venues can open with a cap of 10 seated customers per space – with up to two spaces per venue – and in line with the existing ‘four square metre’ density rule
  • tables must be spaced at least 1.5m apart and cleaned after every customer
  • details of all patrons must be kept
  • all bookings must be for a maximum of two hours.
  • bingo centres and sexually explicit venues must remain close
  • electronic gaming areas at gaming or gambling venues must remain closed. Venues must ensure that gaming machines are not played.
  • gaming facilities, including TAB and KENO facilities can open in both retail and licensed premises subject to relevant restrictions. In licensed premises, patrons must remain seated unless they are placing a bet, purchasing food or drinks, using the toilet or entering or leaving the venue. 

Bottle shops are permitted to remain open (in line with their licence conditions).

*Venues must have a liquor licence that allows liquor to be supplied for takeaway or delivery. For information on how to apply for a temporary limited licence, see ‘Temporary Limited Licence available to supply liquor off-premises – takeaway and delivery’ below.

For more information about how the new restrictions apply to your business, see:
Business and industry Stage 4 restrictions
Business and industry - coronavirus (COVID-19)

Temporary Limited Licence available to supply liquor off-premises - takeaway and delivery

We have streamlined temporary limited licence applications for the supply of liquor for takeaway and delivery. 

There is no fee associated with this application.

The duration of the temporary limited licence is until the date on which there is no longer in force in Victoria any of the following in response to coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • a state of disaster declared under the Emergency Management Act 1986
  • a state of emergency declared under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
  • any other declared state (however named) under the Emergency Management Act 1996 or Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

Eligibility to apply

If you hold a general licence, packaged liquor licence, late night (general) licence or late night (packaged liquor) licence you can already supply liquor for takeaway or delivery, unless there is a condition on your licence that prohibits you from doing so, without a temporary limited licence.

If you are a business with an existing permanent liquor licence that does not already permit the supply of liquor for takeaway or delivery, you can apply for a temporary limited licence to do so.

A temporary limited licence granted in these circumstances will be subject to certain limitations outlined below. These limitations are effective from 30 March 2020 and may be subject to further change as circumstances evolve.

Liquor quantity limitations

The quantity of liquor supplied under these temporary limited licence conditions must not exceed:

  • two 750ml bottles of wine, or
  • twelve containers (not more than 375ml per container) of beer, cider, or pre-mixed spirits (including cocktails), or
  • one 750ml bottle of wine and six containers (not more than 375ml per container) of beer, cider or pre-mixed spirits (including cocktails).

These limitations are in place to reduce the risk of harm and reflect legislative requirements that mean we can only grant a temporary limited licence if the supply of liquor is limited in scale and scope.

Licences that limit supply to other licensees (Pre-retail licence, some renewable limited licences)

Pre-retail or existing renewable limited licensees need to apply for a temporary limited licence to supply liquor to members of the public and are subject to the standard liquor quantity limitations by default (as outlined above).

Consideration will be made on a case by case basis to supply higher quantities of liquor than outlined above noting that such applications:

  • may significantly delay processing of your application
  • must include details of how you propose to supply liquor and the limitations you seek. Failure to do so may result in any applications granted being subject to the standard liquor quantity limitations above.

Other limitations

If you hold either a BYO permit or restaurant and cafe licence, the supply of liquor with takeaway or by delivery must be with a meal.

Delivery of liquor

Delivery drivers should sight identification of persons receiving orders that include liquor to ensure they are not delivering to someone under the age of 18. There is no requirement to physically handle the identification produced.

Liquor licensees are also responsible for verifying the age of their customers for liquor supplied from their licensed premises, including in the case of delivery.

Making a temporary limited licence application

Licensees who wish to apply for a temporary limited licence can apply online, see: Temporary Limited Licence application

  • When applying you can set your first event date as the same date as you are applying
  • Once you have provided your licence details you will be prompted to choose an event type. Please select Internet, mail order, gift hampers as a sub-category.
  • Answer Yes to Internet Sales and No to all subsequent questions
  • For Event Occurrences choose the Date of last event using the date picker and add 2 months, this will default to a 6-week period. Your licence will then be granted until the date on which there is no longer in force in Victoria any of the following in response to coronavirus (COVID-19):
    • a state of disaster declared under the Emergency Management Act 1986
    • a state of emergency declared under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
    • any other declared state (however named) under the Emergency Management Act 1996 or Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.
  • In the Additional Information box please advise that this is about take-away/delivery for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Permanent liquor licence types

You hold a permanent liquor licence if you hold a:

  • BYO permit
  • Club licence (full club or restricted club)
  • General licence
  • Late night licence – specifically, a late night (general) licence, a late night (on-premises) licence, or a late night (packaged liquor) licence
  • On-premises licence
  • Restaurant and cafe licence
  • Packaged liquor licence
  • Pre-retail licence
  • Producer’s licence
  • Renewable limited licence

You do not hold a permanent liquor licence if you only hold either a temporary limited licence or a major event licence.

Free drinking water in licensed premises

While the current restrictions remain in place for licensed premises, self-serve free drinking water stations should be removed from public use. For licensed venues located outside of the Melbourne metropolitan area and Shire of Mitchell, free drinking water must still be made available via table service in accordance with the coronavirus restriction guidelines.

Penalties can apply for licensees who fail to provide free drinking water for patrons.

More information and helpful tips about food and drink facilities for venues reopening is available on the DHHS website, see: Reopening of cafes, restaurants and other food and drink facilities FAQs

Licence conditions

As restrictions ease licensees will need to be mindful of their existing licence conditions in addition to any conditions outlined in temporary limited licences which are in effect until the end of the State of Emergency.

Operating with reduced patron capacity

We have updated our Statement of Regulatory Intent with the following advice:

We will take a flexible approach to enforcing any licence condition that requires crowd controllers, RSA marshals, identification scanners or any similar conditions in circumstances where licensees are operating in a reduced patron capacity in accordance with Directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

We expect that licensees will take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their patrons, to reduce the misuse and abuse of alcohol, and minimise any amenity impacts, having regard to the amount of patrons present on licensed premises.

To view the full statement, see: Statement of Regulatory Intent

Measures to support licensees

Measures to support industry have been introduced, including:

  • waiving all Victorian liquor licensing application fees for 2020 and refunding (or waiving) the 2020 liquor licence renewal fees for affected businesses
  • streamlined processes for temporary limited licence applications finalised within 3 business days
  • waiver of application fees for temporary limited licences to allow businesses with an existing liquor licence to supply liquor for takeaway or delivery
  • deferral of 2018-19 supervision charges for Victorian gaming venue operators to 31 January 2021
  • deferral of the March gaming tax sweep for Victorian gaming venue operators
  • allowing virtual classroom delivery of the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training by VCGLR approved Registered Training Organisations - approved RTOs now have access to interactive RSA workbooks and virtual delivery guidelines.

For details of all government announcements, see:

Prime Minister media centre
Victorian Premier media centre

The Victorian Government recently announced support for live music venues with a new program providing grants to help pay wages and basic business expenses. For more Information, see: Lifeline for Victoria’s famous live music venues

Refunds and waivers of 2020 liquor licensing fees

The Victorian Government has announced a range of measures as part of its economic survival package in response to coronavirus, including reimbursing businesses that have paid their annual 2020 liquor licence or BYO permit renewal fee.

For more information, see: Refunds and waiver of 2020 liquor licensing fees

Temporary or major event licences

If you have been granted a licence for a temporary or major event and that event has been, or is likely to be, postponed due to coronavirus, we may be able to move your licence to a new date, free of charge. If you are cancelling your event and your application has already been assessed and a licence granted, please note that processes to refund application fees are still under consideration.

If we have received your application but not assessed it, and you advise us that you are cancelling your event, the application fee will be refunded as soon as processes to facilitate refunds are confirmed. Please email contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au for any enquiries.

More information and staying up to date

If you need customer assistance, you can contact our client services team by email to contact@vcglr.vic.gov.au or by submitting an enquiry via our website.

Stay up to date with the latest information by subscribing to our newsletter, following us on social media via TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn and updating your details in the Liquor Portal

Optional signage

We have developed additional signage to support licensees, see: Print my liquor signage

Other languages

We have translated important information for licensees into Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese. These resources outline the measures, restrictions and support in place and the obligations for licensees that have applied for a temporary limited licence to allow for takeaway or delivery of liquor.

Simplified Chinese

为执照持有者提供的新冠病毒(COVID-19)相关信息 - COVID-19 information for licensees

新冠病毒最新信息 - 2020年酒类执照费退款和减免 - Liquor licensing fees and waivers 2020

Vietnamese

Thông tin liên quan đến Coronavirus (COVID-19) dành cho người được cấp giấy phép - COVID-19 information for licensees

Cập nhật Coronavirus - hoàn tiền và miễn lệ phí giấy phép kinh doanh rượu bia năm 2020 - Liquor licensing fees and waivers 2020 

Player activity statements

Players who are members of a loyalty scheme (active participants) at gaming venues can either elect to have their annual player activity statement:

  • sent to them via post, fax, email or electronic communication; or
  • elect to collect it from the venue.

Where an active participant elects to collect their player activity statement from a venue, they must collect it from the venue within one month of being told it is available, or their loyalty scheme membership must be suspended.

If an active participant has not collected their player activity statement within three months of being told it is available, they must be removed from the loyalty scheme.

Current venue closures and stay at home restrictions mean that active participants may not be able to collect their player activity statements from venues.

Venues may wish to consider contacting active participants to:

  • advise them that suspension or removal from the loyalty scheme may occur if they do not elect to receive their statement via another method; and
  • ask affected participants whether they want to receive their annual player activity statement another way (email, fax or post).
     

 

Page last modified 
18 September 2020