Takeaway services extended for another year to aid hospitality sector
Date published: 19 November 2020
Photo: Nitr - stock.adobe.com
Businesses can offer a takeaway service during the pandemic, without having to go through a planning application process
Restaurants, pubs and cafés will get automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services for another year, until March 2022.
The aim of these measures, announced by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, is to give these businesses the confidence they need to continue to serve customers and retain their staff. It will also help them adapt to longer-term changes they may wish to introduce, such as serving their customers from market stalls.
The rules were relaxed in March 2020 so businesses could offer a takeaway service during the pandemic, without having to go through a planning application process. This was due to end on 23 March 2021 but will now be extended by another year. The government will also consider whether to make these reforms permanent.
Whilst pubs and restaurants are currently restricted from selling alcohol on their premises to take away (but can still provide delivery or click and collect) due to the national Covid restrictions in England, the law before March would have restricted pubs and restaurants from choosing to only offer food takeaway services.
The freedoms introduced in March and extended today mean pubs and restaurants can focus on selling food takeaways if they choose to while being able to return to operating as a pub or restaurant when permitted.
Mr Jenrick has also extended the option for businesses and communities to host markets and stalls for the whole of next year. Again, the government will consider whether to make these reforms permanent.
Under the national restrictions currently in place, markets can sell takeaways from stalls. However, the stalls must not have seating areas.
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. It will help avoid waste and allow businesses to retain a valuable link with their customers and communities.”
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