Pubs set to be allowed to sell takeaway pints in second lockdown

4 November 2020, 10:27

Pubs will be allowed to serve takeaway pints from Thursday
Pubs will be allowed to serve takeaway pints from Thursday. Picture: PA

Pubs in England will be able to sell takeaway drinks during the second national lockdown.

People in England will be able to purchase takeaway drinks from pubs during lockdown, as long as they are pre-ordered online or by phone.

Read more: Boris Johnson announces month-long lockdown - all the new rules and list of places to shut

It was previously indicated that takeaway alcohol, unlike takeaway food, would be banned during the second lockdown - but the government has seemingly done a u-turn.

As reported by the Guardian, the new rules are laid out in the government regulations on the new high street lockdown, after fears that almost 7million pints would have to be thrown away before lockdown comes into force tomorrow (Thursday 5 November).

Pubs in England will be able to sell takeaway drinks after a government u-turn
Pubs in England will be able to sell takeaway drinks after a government u-turn. Picture: PA

The move has been hailed by pub bosses, but many have claimed that it doesn't go far enough.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "Takeaway alcohol from pubs if it is pre-ordered and customers don't enter the premises is movement, but still not anywhere near enough.

"Supermarkets and off-licences can still sell alcohol, so this is grossly unfair on pubs with off-licences. It remains the case that to help pubs and brewers survive, and to stop up to 7.5 million pints from being wasted, the government needs to give pubs the same ability to sell off-licence alcohol as it did in the first lockdown."

Read more: What are the rules on meeting other households in the second England lockdown?

Kate Nichols of lobby group UK Hospitality added, according to the BBC: "It is a welcome and helpful clarification that pubs and restaurants will be permitted to continue with off-licence sales of alcohol through delivery, as well as click and collect for pre-ordered sales.

"This was a lifeline to many businesses in the first lockdown and it is good to see common sense prevail this time too - avoiding waste and providing a valuable community service - although we can see no reason why a pub could not operate as a retail outlet for pre-packaged food and drink as many did last time."

A government spokesperson said: "We recognise that these are extremely challenging circumstances for pubs and the hospitality industry. Public health and safety remains our number one priority and that is why pubs and other hospitality venues cannot serve alcohol on site to takeaway to prevent people from gathering outside their premises.

"However, they can sell alcohol as part of delivery services, including through click and collect, over the telephone and by other remote methods of ordering for collection, provided customers do not congregate as groups once they have picked up their order."

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