No changes to takeaway pint rules at next unlocking step

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Lockdown rules: takeaway pints are banned until 12 April, when beer gardens open (image: Getty/ Yuliia Filirovska)
Lockdown rules: takeaway pints are banned until 12 April, when beer gardens open (image: Getty/ Yuliia Filirovska)

Related tags: lockdown, Beer, Takeaway, Food, beis

The Government has confirmed there will be no changes to rules surrounding takeaway pints at the next easing of lockdown laws.

From 29 March, people will be able to meet up in groups of up to six to socialise in public parks and private gardens.

They will be able to buy alcohol from a supermarket to drink together but will not be able to buy takeaway pints from a nearby pub.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy confirmed the current rules on alcohol-to-go would not change from 29 March. 

Alcohol can still be sold via deliveries only for consumption off the premises when ordered online or by telephone or text message, it is understood.

What’s more, the Cabinet Office confirmed that rules would not change before the second step of the Government’s roadmap, earmarked for 12 April at the earliest.

At this point, licensed venues will be allowed to sell alcohol to take away and for click and collect. 

Click and collect is understood as pre-orders via phone, online, post, and drinks are not to be collected by entering the premises. 

Publicans said it was unfair takeaway pints would be banned until the reopening of beer gardens on 12 April and called on the Government to bring the freedom forward.

Vital income

Neil Way, steward of Cheltenham Motor Club, told The Morning Advertiser (MA)​, selling takeaway beer in sealed containers in previous lockdowns had been “vital”.

He explained: “It was highly successful for us providing vital income and our customers enjoyed draught real ale and cider as they were sick of cans and bottles. It was a vital support for cask breweries and third party suppliers. It kept me in touch with our locals too. 

MPs backed the Countryside Alliance’s #UnlockInn campaign to lift the ban earlier than intended.

MPs Greg Smith and Robert Syms argued the move would “kick start the hospitality comeback early.” 

A survey from the Countryside Alliance found 47% of publicans operating a takeaway food service said the inability to sell take away alcoholic beverages had a negative impact on their sales.

Conservative MP Greg Smith said: “Understandably people are going to be meeting with friends and loved ones and it will be a cause for celebration. Big supermarkets have been able to trade over lockdown, but pubs have had to shut. 

“To kick start the hospitality comeback early, pubs should be able to sell takeaway alcohol to anyone planning for picnics. This would be fair and create an equal playing field”.

Related topics: Legislation

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