Sydney residents will be able to order ‘cocktails to go’ from their local bars and pubs after the NSW government agreed to a proposal to give the sector a boost in patronage during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bars and pubs will be allowed to offer take away and home delivery of food and alcohol, including cocktails, said the Independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwhich, who made the proposal.
The MP urged the government to work with local business owners to permit flexible delivery of services to keep venues in business and employees on the payroll.
“Despite several government stimulus packages, many bars and pubs are caught in a gap that could prevent them from accessing any income during the government’s lockdown measures,” Mr Greenwich said in a statement on Tuesday.
“I’m grateful to the government for accepting this proposal.
“It will be especially important for small bars who have a very loyal customer base that wants to support them and their specialty offerings during these difficult times.
“The ‘quarantini’ is now a real thing in Sydney.”
Meanwhile, NSW publican Marty Short transformed his own pubs into local convenience stores to help ease COVID-19 panic buying.
In the past week, Mr Short has been busy gathering local produce and essential supplies ahead of the federal government’s decision on Monday to close all non-essential services, which closed pubs across the nation.
He hopes the new venture will help keep his staff employed while giving local businesses and pub suppliers the opportunity to make an income.
“We’re working with butchers and bakers and other small business owners and we’ve even got some toilet paper,” Mr Short told AAP on Monday.
“This is a chance for the community to support and buy local, and avoid the crowds and panic at the supermarkets.”
Mr Short’s The Tudor Hotel in Redfern, The Royal Leichhardt, Seabreeze Beach Hotel at South West Rocks and the Toormina Hotel in Coffs Harbour have all been transformed into stores, complete with hand sanitiser stations and social distancing markers on the floor.