Takeaway booze was originally set to be banned during lockdown.
Following the news that 7.5 million pints could be poured down the drain throughout November, the government has confirmed that restrictions will be eased slightly to allow pubs and restaurants to serve takeaway pints during lockdown. The announcement comes after plans published over the weekend stipulated that takeaway alcohol would be banned under the new November restrictions.
Providing a little bit of luxury for us during the first national lockdown, the move will throw a much-needed lifeline to the hospitality industry – allowing both pubs and breweries a better chance of survival during the month-long closures. The service will look slightly different from the summer, however, with certain rules being implemented for both pubs and customers to follow.
Publishing the rules in the newly released lockdown regulations, customers will be able to order booze to takeaway – so long as it is pre-ordered before collecting. Pre-orders can be made over the phone, via post or online, with the only stipulation being that it must be ordered before visiting the premises. The regulations also state that the 10pm curfew will still apply, despite pubs and restaurants being ordered to close. Customers are also banned from entering the premises, with establishments required to set up a drive-thru-like system to pass orders through. Home deliveries will also be permitted under the new regulations.
Kate Nichols of lobby group UK Hospitality has said: “It is a welcome and helpful clarification that pubs and restaurants will be permitted to continue with off-licence sales of alcohol through delivery, as well as click and collect for pre-ordered sales,
“This was a lifeline to many businesses in the first lockdown and it is good to see common sense prevail this time too – avoiding waste and providing a valuable community service – although we can see no reason why a pub could not operate as a retail outlet for pre-packaged food and drink as many did last time.”
A government spokesperson said: “We recognise that these are extremely challenging circumstances for pubs and the hospitality industry. Public health and safety remains our number one priority and that is why pubs and other hospitality venues cannot serve alcohol on site to takeaway to prevent people from gathering outside their premises.
“However, they can sell alcohol as part of delivery services, including through click and collect, over the telephone and by other remote methods of ordering for collection, provided customers do not congregate as groups once they have picked up their order.”