UK Government Extends Permission for Pubs Across England to Sell Takeaway Pints


UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Pubs in England and Wales will be able to continue selling takeaway drinks as the government has decided to maintain Covid licensing rules. These rules were initially implemented in 2020, allowing pubs to serve customers through hatches when they were forced to close due to pandemic laws.

Originally set to expire on 30 September, the government has now extended these rules until March 2025. This decision aims to prevent the trade from facing financial ruin and has been previously extended twice during the pandemic.

UK Governement To Find A Permanent Solution To Support Pubs and Bars

While the rules are temporarily extended, the government has expressed its commitment to finding a permanent solution that best supports local pubs and bars. The Sun newspaper, which first reported this development, quoted a source stating that the prime minister has taken heed of the industry’s concerns.

These rules, granted in July 2020, enable pubs without an off-premises license to sell takeaway alcohol without the need to seek permission from their local council.

“They are also permitted to sell alcohol on the street within the designated area covered by their pavement license – a provision that will remain in effect beyond September.

These changes have allowed pubs to continue operating during the Covid restrictions.

Emma McClarkin, the chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, which represents over 20,000 pubs, expressed her approval of the decision. She stated that landlords would be relieved to avoid the need for additional license applications.

She emphasized that this measure was implemented to support our struggling pubs during challenging times, and urged the prime minister to acknowledge that these businesses are still facing significant pressure.

Pubs Getting The Chance To Earn Additional Revenue

Martin McTague, the national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, commented that this move would offer pubs an additional revenue source to offset the increasing costs.

Kate Nicholls, the chief executive of UK Hospitality, highlighted the benefits that many businesses have experienced through the use of pavement licenses. These licenses have allowed them to create outdoor areas for takeaway sales and al fresco dining.”


She added that the government’s decision to continue these rules was a welcome display of common sense and would prevent restaurants, bars, and pubs from being burdened with additional bureaucracy.

Originally, the rules were expected to expire at the end of September, which would have required pubs that wanted to continue serving takeaway pints to seek permission from local councils. However, before deciding to maintain the rules, the Home Office had sought input from councils, residents groups, and drinks retailers. The majority of respondents expressed their support for returning to the pre-pandemic rules.

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Pub Groups Looking To Get Approval To Continue Takeaway Sales 

Pub groups expressed concerns that this change would force landlords to undergo a lengthy application and approval process to continue with takeaway sales.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated, “I am determined to support British pubs and ensure they receive all the assistance they need as we rebuild our economy after the challenges of the pandemic.”

“That is why we are reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, allowing customers to enjoy a takeaway pint or outdoor drink without placing additional burdens on businesses.”

Pubs in England and Wales will be permitted to continue selling takeaway pints, as the government has chosen to retain the pandemic-era licensing rules following criticism from the British Beer and Pub Association.

Originally set to expire in September, the pandemic-era rules have been extended twice, a decision that the British Beer and Pub Association found disappointing. However, the government has now decided to extend these rules for an additional 18 months, citing a desire to reduce bureaucracy and support British pubs.

In July 2020, pubs were granted the option to sell takeaway alcohol without the need for approval from local councils. This measure was implemented as part of a broader strategy to curb the spread of coronavirus. Landlords were able to sell alcohol, often through hatches, in order to sustain their businesses during lockdowns.

The decision to allow pubs to continue selling takeaway pints is a welcome relief for the industry, as it provides a lifeline for struggling businesses. By cutting red tape and supporting local pubs, the government is demonstrating its commitment to the recovery of the hospitality sector.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.