Takeaway freedom to be extended until next year

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Takeaway Food Drink Legislation Health and safety

Pubs will receive automatic permission to provide takeaway services for another year, it has been confirmed today (Wednesday 11 November).

Communities Secretary Robert  Jenrick has formally announced the extension, after the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government confirmed the policy move earlier this week.

  • This story was updated on Wednesday 11 November to reflect the Government's official announcement of this extension.

Rules were relaxed in March so that operators would not have to go through a planning application process to be able to offer a takeaway service.

This will now be extended a year from an expiry date of 23 March 2021 to 2022.

The Government is also going to consider whether to make this reform permanent.

Pubs can operate as takeaway and delivery services during the four-week lockdown in England this month but any alcohol sales must have been pre-ordered.

Decisive action

“We’ve taken decisive action  since the beginning of the pandemic to support our pubs, restaurants, cafes and markets," Jenrick said.

"Making it easier for them to provide takeaways has helped these businesses to adapt and helped sustain many through an unbelievably difficult year.

"That's why I am extending these simple but effective reforms to support these businesses – helping give them and their employees more certainty over the coming year.

"It will also be a boost for their customers who can now look forward to continuing to enjoy meals at home from their favourite restaurants."

"As these reforms have made such a difference I will be considering making them permanent.”

Valuable lifeline

It has also been confirmed that the Government will make it easier for businesses to host market stalls in 2021 and may consider making such flexibility permanent.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed the extensions of these rules and said it would help many businesses through the next few months.

“The ability to provide takeaway services was a valuable lifeline for many hospitality venues, not just during the lockdown but in the days of reduced and restricted trade, too," she said in response.

“The extension will undoubtedly help many.

"For pubs, restaurants and cafes to operate as takeaways gives them a previously untapped revenue stream and a much better chance to survive what will be a tough winter.

"It will help avoid waste and allow businesses to retain a valuable link with their customers and communities.”

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