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Clarity needed about pubs operating deliveries and takeaways

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Alternative options: pubs have previously been allowed to offer delivery and takeaway services
Alternative options: pubs have previously been allowed to offer delivery and takeaway services

Related tags: Coronavirus

The pub industry is in need of clarity about the latest guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), which stated restaurants and cafés can offer food delivery and takeaways while closed to the public – but there was no mention of whether pubs could do the same and there is no specific guidance for pubs.

However, the British Beer & Pub Association is going by the guidance of takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational, meaning people can continue to enter the premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.

People must not consume food or drinks on site at pubs, restaurants or cafés while waiting for takeaway food.

This comes after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson enforced new, strict public measures, locking down the nation who won't be able to leave their household other than to make essential journeys such as going to the shop for food or medicine, to exercise once a day or travel to and from work, if unable to work from home, or a key worker. 

Should pubs be allowed to offer takeaways and deliveries, they must still ensure there is a distance of two metres between customers and staff, let people enter the site only in small groups to ensure spaces aren’t crowded and ensure queue control is required outside of the pub.

The Morning Advertiser ​is continuing to consult with industry leaders to get clarity on the situation and will update as soon as possible.

Environmental health and trading standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate.

Under review

Businesses that breach such rules will be subject to prohibition notices and, potentially, unlimited fines.

But, operators that are offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcohol if their licence does not permit off-sales.

The Government said these venues should have closed from Saturday 21 March and the measures will be “reviewed every 28 days to consider the necessity and effectiveness, in light of changing circumstances”.

Law enforcement

As of 2pm on Saturday (21 March), closures are now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health, and businesses that operate in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence.

The Government relaxed planning rules to allow last Wednesday (18 March) pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways for hot food and drinks to serve people at home.

Meanwhile, the guidance from MHCLG also noted hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use must remain closed. However, where people live in these as interim abodes while their primary residence is unavailable, they may continue to do so.

Key workers can continue to stay in hotels or similar when required.

Related topics: Legislation, UnitedWeStand

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