Pubs Will Now Be Able To Sell Takeaway Pints During Lockdown
All pubs, bars and restaurants in the country must close their doors from tomorrow (5 November) until 2 December, and it was previously stated that takeaway booze sales would be prohibited - unlike during the previous national lockdown.
The rules stated: "Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed."
However, this rule has now been relaxed, with legislation stating that customers will be able to collect pre-ordered alcohol, so long as they do not enter the premises.
Drinks must be ordered online or over the phone and deliveries will also be permitted.
It is hoped the U-turn will prevent millions of pints from being poured away.
Nik Antona, the national chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said the rule change represented a 'vital lifeline' for the industry.
According to The Guardian, he said: "I am delighted that the government has listened to the concerns of thousands of Camra members, concerned pub-goers, and beer lovers who have e-mailed their MPs in the last 48 hours urging the government to allow pubs and breweries to sell alcohol as takeaway during the second lockdown.
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"This is a vital lifeline for local pubs and breweries across England over the coming four weeks."
However, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, argued the government had still not done enough for pubs.
According to the BBC, she 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."
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."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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