Australia markets closed

Sydneysiders rejoice: The lockout laws will be gone on January 14 – except in Kings Cross

Sharon Masige
  • Sydney's lockout laws will officially be gone from January 14, 2020.
  • The restrictions were first introduced in 2014 after a spate of alcohol-fuelled attacks in the state.
  • The state government removed the 1.30am last entry for all venues in the Sydney CBD and scrapped restrictions on serving drinks in glasses after midnight.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Sydney is ditching its lockout laws.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that lockout laws will be scrapped from January 14 2020, one of a handful of changes being rolled out in the state.

NSW is scrapping 1.30am last entry for all venues in the Sydney CBD and removing restrictions on serving cocktails, shots and drinks in glasses after midnight in the same area. Plus, the state is extending ‘last drinks’ at venues with good records in the CBD by 30 minutes.

The lockout laws first came in 2014 after several alcohol-fuelled deaths and attacks in Sydney. Berejiklian first announced the lockout laws would be largely scrapped back in September.

Berejiklian said the lockout laws had "undoubtedly made Sydney safer" but it was the right time for change especially with the light rail coming soon.

The report into Sydney's nightlife, released at the end of September, found that non-domestic assaults had fallen by 52.8% in the Kings Cross area since the lockouts were implemented, but this may be in part due to a huge decrease in foot traffic. According to The Kings Cross Liquor Accord, quoted in the report, foot traffic was reduced in Kings Cross by 70-80%.


“Sydney has transformed dramatically over recent years, and we need to ensure we have a strong and vibrant night-time economy that reflects our position as Australia’s only truly global city,” she said in a statement.

However, Kings Cross will remain under the lockout laws.

Other changes the state government is enforcing includes extended bottle shop opening hours across NSW until midnight from Monday to Saturday and closing times at 11pm on Sunday. And small bars can have an increased capacity from 100 to 120 people across the state.

The government said it will be monitoring the changes and will conduct a review on them after 12 months.

Read more: The review into Sydney’s lockout laws says the city’s nightlife is dire.