Campaign for Pubs

Campaign for Pubs comments on the welcome U-turn on pub takeaways during England’s lockdown 2

The Campaign for Pubs, the national grassroots campaign group representing pubs, publicans and pub-goers welcomed the U-turn by the UK Government, now allowing pubs to offer takeaway beer and alcohol during the four week lockdown in England, having originally stated this would not be permitted.

The rules now allow pubs to offer takeaways of beer and other alcoholic drinks, as long as they are pre-ordered by phone, text, online or app and collected from outside the premises.

This means that pubs can at least try to sell off some of the cask and draught beer they would otherwise have to our down the drain, as well as allowing pubs that do food to offer to provide alcoholic drinks with takeaway food.

The lockdown starts from midnight (00:00 hours) on Thursday 5th November and means all pubs in England will have to close, other than serving takeaways of food and drinks.

Campaign Director of the Campaign for Pubs, Greg Mulholland said:

“It’s welcome news that due to pressure from MPs, publicans & campaigners, the Government done a much needed U-turn on beer & alcohol takeaways from pubs. It was grossly unfair that the Government initially said pubs in England, already struggling due to previous closures & restrictions, weren’t allowed to offer a takeaway service despite facing lockdown, whilst supermarkets continued to be unaffected. This initial announcement caused huge anxiety and anger amongst publicans and we urge the Government to consult with publicans over such decisions, to avoid this.

“With pubs facing having to throw away millions of pints of beer, this U-turn now at least gives them the chance to sell it off to people collecting from outside the pub as long as they pre-order. So we particularly welcome that takeaways of cask beer and other draught products can be offered to stop so much stock being lost. Now we need certainty that all UK pubs will be allowed to open from 3rd December and for Christmas”.

Dawn Hopkins, Vice-Chair of the Campaign for Pubs and licensee of the Rose Inn, Norwich said:

“It’s a very welcome U-turn by the Government, who clearly said they would ban takeaways of alcohol and now have said they can happen as long as they are pre-ordered. However why did they not get this right first time, it’s caused huge anxiety with publicans thinking they would be unable to do this and would have to shut completely. This kind of fag packet decision making just isn’t good enough, when it has such a damaging impact on already struggling pubs. So we urge the Government to properly consult with publicans and to consider the real impact of all decisions to restrict trade and close pubs”.