LICENSING HUB – LEGAL WITH POPPLESTON ALLEN

Legal Q&A: Relaxed off-trade restrictions and food and alcohol licensing conditions

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Legal Q&A: relaxed off-sales do not mean that licensing conditions around the provision of food with alcohol are also suspended (Image: flyparade/Getty Images)
Legal Q&A: relaxed off-sales do not mean that licensing conditions around the provision of food with alcohol are also suspended (Image: flyparade/Getty Images)

Related tags: Legal, Licensing, Poppleston allen, Coronavirus, Health and safety

Specialist licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen's latest legal Q&A addresses the impact of the Government’s relaxed off-trade restrictions on food and alcohol licensing conditions.

Q: I run a restaurant and have just reopened. A group of customers (six in total) came for a drink on Friday. I allowed them to take a seat outside and sold them six bottles of beer, without any food because they did not want to eat.  

I had been under the impression that the relaxation around the sale of alcohol to be drunk outside meant that I could do this.  

I have now received a call from my local police licensing officer who told me that I have a condition on my licence that only permits alcohol to be sold with a substantial table meal – which I was aware of – but I thought that I didn’t have to observe such a condition any longer with the off-sales relaxation.   

Can you help me?

A: You are still bound by the conditions on your premises licence, even though the Government has generally relaxed off-sales, which means that if you have a licence which only permits on-sales or restricts off-sales to a certain time or means that you are not allowed to sell alcohol in open containers for consumption off the premises, then such a condition is, for the time being, suspended.  

However, it does not mean that conditions around the provision of food with alcohol are also suspended, and you must still comply with such conditions.

Further reading:

  • 45,000 pubs expected to reopen for indoor service​ - Some 45,000 pubs are estimated to reopen to trade inside from Monday 17 May, serving 3m pints, leaving 2,000 unable to open their doors due to limited space, one trade body has predicted. 
  • Red Lion or red tape?​ - I write this article as Monday 17 May approaches, the light in the tunnel becomes brighter, and the journey towards ‘normality’, pot of gold of staycationers with savings and pub envy, a long, hot summer and the Euros await.
  • What are the rules around outside trading?​ - With pubs being able to reopen for outdoor trading only as of 12 April, The Morning Advertiser​ takes a look at the rules around external structures and pavement licences.

Related topics: Licensing Hub

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