Easter trading - what you need to know

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Easter is a time when many of us take time off to go on holiday and spend time with family and friends. For some of us that means going out and enjoying a meal. The Easter holidays contain two of the sacrosanct days where sale of alcohol is restricted or prohibited under s47 and s48 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (“Act”). If you have any questions about selling alcohol over Easter Alcohol Consulting Group (ACG) can answer them for you.

Q: What days over Easter are sacrosanct days?

A:Good Friday (19 April 2019) and Easter Sunday (21 April 2019)

Q:I have an on-licence – what are the restrictions?

A:You can only sell alcohol to people who are on the premises to dine, who live or lodge on the premises or if you have a special licence for an event.

Q:I have a club licence – what are the restrictions?

A: You can sell alcohol on Good Friday and Easter Sunday in accordance with your normal licence conditions. You still need to make sure you are complying with s60 of the Act – Sale and supply in clubs to members and guests only.

Q:What is “dining”?

A:This means having a meal with a knife and fork. It does not include bar snacks or finger food.

Q:When can I sell alcohol to people dining?

A: You can sell alcohol to people to enjoy with their meal. This means a drink before, during and one after. People dining cannot drink alcohol more than an hour before they start eating a meal and more than an hour after they finish eating a meal.

Q:When can’t I sell alcohol?

A:Casual drinking is not allowed so you cannot sell alcohol to people who are at your premises for a reason other than dining. You cannot provide any offer to allow people to drink casually, for example, an offer for a buffet that is only on for a limited time and it is intended that people remain on the premises to drink alcohol after it has finished.

Q:I have an off-licence – can I sell alcohol?

A:Most off-licences cannot sell alcohol on Good Friday or Easter Sunday. If you hold an off-licence where you sell grape, fruit or vegetable wine that is made on the premises and from produce harvested from the land where the premises is located you can sell that alcohol on Easter Sunday, but not on Good Friday.

Q:I want to open over Easter, what measures should I have in place to make sure I comply with the Act?

A: Contact ACG on 0800 ALCOHOL to discuss your options.