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Relaxed takeaway regulations extended until March 2022

Published:  09 November, 2020

Relaxed regulations that allow bars, pubs and restaurants to sell takeaway food and alcohol have been extended until 2022, communities secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.

The blanket provisions, which came into force at the onset of the Covid-19 back in March, mean businesses will not need to go through a planning application process to provide takeaway, with the exemption being extended until 23 March 2022.

The extension follows on-trade businesses being forced to close across England last week as part of the second national lockdown. 

The regulations allow takeaway alcohol to be served as long as it is pre-ordered online, via phone or post.

“We have 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,” said Jenrick when announcing the extension. 

“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,” he added. 

Moreover, Jenrick said he would look into whether to make the regulations permanent.

The extension would “undoubtedly help many”, said Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality.  

“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. 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,” she said in response to the news.