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Outdoor dining in The Rocks

Outdoor dining

We’re making it easier for businesses to increase outdoor dining for customers.   

The 12-month trial of a streamlined application process for alfresco dining started in The Rocks on 16 October, with a City of Sydney trial and state-wide roll out to follow. The trial started as COVID-19 restrictions were eased for outdoor dining and outdoor music performances. 
Liquor & Gaming NSW is working with Place Management NSW, City of Sydney and NSW Police to approve applications. 

All venues participating need to have an updated COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and follow the latest Public Health Orders.  Venues must record customer contact details, and if taking up the eased COVID-19 restrictions they must do this electronically such as with QR codes. Businesses serving alcohol need to have a liquor licence.

The trial will be rolled out across the state in the coming months. Councils interested in participating can register their interest with the Office of Local Government.

Businesses in participating council areas will be able to apply to their local council. Council will notify Liquor & Gaming NSW, who will complete compliance checks and update licence boundaries to include the new outdoor spaces. Councils will advise venues once their application has been approved. 

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment are consulting on the changes to planning laws that will allow the trial to roll out state-wide. Have your say by 8 November 2020.

On 16 October, the trial started in The Rocks. Approved food and beverage businesses can now extend their seating outside by using public spaces and walkways, providing more space for customers to return to hospitality venues. 

Many pubs, cafes and restaurants in The Rocks have joined the trial, allowing them to welcome more customers to dine outdoors. 

Place Management NSW have identified appropriate public spaces for use and continue to work with eligible businesses on approving their participation in the trial. 

For more information about the trial in this area visit The Rocks website. To ask about getting involved and the streamlined application process, contact Place Management NSW

From late November, the trial starts in the City of Sydney on Pitt and Barrack Streets. A small number of approved food and beverage businesses will extend their seating to approved areas outside their business by using public spaces, footpaths and parking bays. 

A streamlined fee-free application process for outdoor dining on footways and plazas will be available to all businesses in early December. Road space that could be reallocated for outdoor dining is also being explored.

For more information about the trial and the application process, contact the City of Sydney

The Office of Local Government is preparing information and guidance to support councils for the further rollout of outdoor dining across NSW. We will publish this supporting material here soon. 

If your council is interested in the trial, please contact the Office of Local Government

All venues participating in the trial need to have an updated COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and follow the latest Public Health Orders.

Venues also need to comply with their usual liquor licence conditions and any conditions that specifically apply to the outdoor area.

When operating outdoors the same regulatory obligations apply, you should consider:

  • Do all staff involved in the sale and supply of alcohol have their Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certification?
  • Is drinking water available for free to all customers when alcohol is sold or supplied?
  • Is food available at all times when alcohol is sold or supplied?
  • Are there procedures and controls in place to prevent intoxication? 
  • Are there procedures and controls in place to stop intoxicated customers from entering a licensed area? 
  • Are there procedures and controls in place to prevent alcohol being sold or supplied to an intoxicated person? 
  • If an intoxicated person is found in the venue, what steps will be taken to remove the customer from the venue? 
  • Do all liquor promotions comply with the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA)? 

Depending on your venue, Liquor & Gaming NSW may ask you to update your Plan of Management to include how you will manage your outdoor area.

The Rocks

Find out which venues are part of the trial so you can get out and enjoy the best of Sydney safely.
Outdoor dining in The Rocks
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