Takeaway alcohol to be allowed during lockdown due to legislative loophole

04 November 2020 by
Takeaway alcohol to be allowed during lockdown due to legislative loophole

Alcohol can be sold as takeaway or delivery if it is pre-ordered by phone or online during lockdown in England, government legislation published yesterday has revealed.

The legislation said alcohol can be delivered for orders received online, by telephone, by text message or by post. This includes selling to customers collecting pre-ordered food and drink, provided they do not enter the premises, and by drive-through.

The Campaign for Real Ale's (Camra) national chairman Nik Antona said: "I am delighted that the government has listened to the concerns of thousands of Camra members, concerned pub-goers, and beer lovers who have emailed their MPs in the last 48 hours urging the government to allow pubs and breweries to sell alcohol as takeaway during the second lockdown.

"This is a vital lifeline for local pubs and breweries across England over the coming four weeks, giving them a lifeline of income and allowing people to support local businesses.

"Camra continues to call on the government to bring in a comprehensive, long-term financial support package to support all pubs and breweries through the lockdown and the tough months that will follow this winter. Without a sector-specific support package, we risk seeing thousands of pubs and breweries closing their doors for good."

Ahead of the closure of hospitality businesses from tomorrow across England, guidance published over the weekend said venues could continue with takeaways and deliveries, however unlike the last lockdown, they would not be permitted to sell sealed containers of alcoholic drinks to takeaway in person from their premises.

Trade bodies have been lobbying the government to reverse the rule, which was described by James Calder, chief executive of the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), as "nonsensical".

UKHospitality said the decision will ensure a vital lifeline for businesses is not strangled and enable venues to retain a valuable link with their communities.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "It is a relief to have sight of this guidance – yet again, venues have precious little time in which to digest and implement them. A vital element to the successful application of the guidance, at short notice, will be clear local authority guidance on their enforcement, so that venues have confidence that there will be consistency across England." Photo: Shutterstock

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