Takeaway pints are now allowed in lockdown after a government U-turn

Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 10:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 11:02 am

The brewing industry is celebrating a government u-turn which will mean that pubs can serve takeaway alcohol throughout the forthcoming lockdown.

As of Thursday, pubs will be allowed to sell takeaway pints, which proved popular in many places during the first lockdown, so long as it is pre-ordered.

The guidance initially released by the government relating to the new lockdown made it illegal for pubs to sell alcohol on a takeaway basis, but updated guidance released last night (3 November) has amended this.

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The hospitality industry had warned that venues might have been forced to close down, with more people losing their jobs, if the ban was not rescinded.

What are the new lockdown rules?

The new lockdown restrictions announced by Boris Johnson on 31 October differ from the previous lockdown restrictions in a number of ways, with schools allowed to remain open and no mandatory shielding for the clinically vulnerable.

But, while pubs were able to sell alcohol on a takeaway basis during the spring, government guidance initially barred them from this type of service

The original guidance states, “Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.”

However, the new guidance, released Tuesday night, specifies that pubs will able to serve alcohol on a takeaway basis, so long as it is pre-ordered online or on the phone.

Why was this an issue?

National chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), Nik Antona, said the move will be a "vital lifeline" for the industry.

He said: “This is a vital lifeline for local pubs and breweries across England over the coming four weeks,” he 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 e-mailed their MPs in the last 48 hours urging the government to allow pubs and breweries to sell alcohol as takeaway during the second lockdown.”