Pubs and restaurants given automatic permission to serve takeaway food and drink until 2022
Permission for bars and restaurants to offer takeaway food and drink is to be extended until March 2022 in a show of support from the Government.
The blanket provisions allowing all businesses to run the service will be extended by the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick to give the hospitality sector long-term reassurance.
Pubs, bars and restaurants were forced to close across England this week as part of the second national coronavirus lockdown but the new regulations allow takeaway alcohol to be served as long as it is pre-ordered online, via phone or post.
Many throughout the North East have launched collection services and deliveries to keep their businesses turning over during the restrictions.
The automatic takeaway permissions established during the spring lockdown will be renewed for another year and Mr Jenrick said his department will look into whether this one-size-fits-all approach should become the norm.
It means businesses will not need to go through a planning application process to provide takeaway, with the exemption being extended until March 23, 2022.
When announcing the extension, Mr Jenrick is expected to say: “We’ve taken decisive action since the beginning of the pandemic to support our pubs, restaurants, cafes and markets.
“Making it easier for them to provide takeaways has helped these businesses to adapt and helped sustain many through an unbelievably difficult year.
“That’s why I am extending these simple but effective reforms to support these businesses – helping give them and their employees more certainty over the coming year.
“It will also be a boost for their customers who can now look forward to continuing to enjoy meals at home from their favourite restaurants.
“As these reforms have made such a difference I will be considering making them permanent.”
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “The ability to provide takeaway services was a valuable lifeline for many hospitality venues, not just during the lockdown but in the days of reduced and restricted trade, too.
“The extension will undoubtedly help many. For pubs, restaurants and cafes to operate as takeaways gives them a previously untapped revenue stream and a much better chance to survive what will be a tough winter.”