Takeaway pints to be banned from September

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Last orders: Pubs will not be able to serve takeaway pints from next month (Credit: Getty/ Rainer Lesniewski)
Last orders: Pubs will not be able to serve takeaway pints from next month (Credit: Getty/ Rainer Lesniewski)

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Rules allowing UK pubs to sell takeaway pints will come to an end next month (September).

Pubs were given the option to sell takeaway alcohol in July 2020 without having to apply to their local councils for permission in a bid to help pubs stay afloat during lockdowns.

Although the measures were extended twice, the Home Office has said the rules will expire on 30 September, following a consultation which drew 174 responses.

Pubs that wish to keep serving takeaway alcohol will need permission from their local councils.

This comes after new figures show pub closures reached the highest quarterly figure in more than a decade in the second quarter (Q2) of 2023.

Some 223 pub businesses entered insolvency in Q2 2023, up from 200 in Q1​​, the data revealed. Furthermore, 729 pub businesses went bust over the last 12 months, representing an 80% increase on 2021/22 (405).

Hard hit

The hospitality sector is battling a perfect storm of high energy, labour and wholesale food and drinks costs, as well as the cost-of-living crisis squeezing consumers’ budgets.

Keystone Law licensing partner Gareth Hughes said the axing of the takeaway pint rules was a “major development”.

He added: “It was hoped that the Home Office would grant an extension to the regulatory easement which allowed licensed premises without an off-sales permission to sell from those premises until the Levelling Up Bill made the arrangements permanent.
“Now in a shock move the Home Office has determined not to make it permanent in the Bill and instead bring the temporary permission to an end on 30th September 2023.
The statement from the Home Office said it will "not be bringing an order to extend the provisions as the BPA (Business and Planning Act 2020) only allows for an extension to mitigate an effect of the pandemic".

'Desperately needed'

However, Hughes said the provision was still “so desperately needed”, as the pandemic may have passed, but its impact would linger for many years.
He continued: “Businesses in this industry are worried that they will now have to make a variation application to ensure that the off-sales permission which they have enjoyed for three years can continue.

“The revised Home Office section 182 guidance states that licensing authorities are advised to deal with such requests via the minor variation route but this is only guidance and some authorities may still treat this as a major variation application which is more costly and a lengthier process.”

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