Lobbying by UKHospitality and sector bodies has helped persuade the Government to extend to September 2023 the alcohol off-sales easement introduced during the pandemic – a move that will help hundreds of hospitality businesses struggling to survive.
The leading trade body and other hospitality industry organisations had been pushing for the Home Office to continue to allow premises with on-sales only – under the Licensing Act – to also provide off-sales.
The easement was brought in during the pandemic, meaning businesses could sell alcohol as part of takeaway and delivery orders; as well as serve it in pavement and other outdoor areas where relevant.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:
“This decision to extend the off-sales easement is the right one, and hugely significant. If this had lapsed, it would have caused further problems for many hundreds of hospitality businesses already struggling to survive.
“But persistent lobbying by UKHospitality and others has convinced government that deregulation measures such as this can help businesses, at what is a critical time in their efforts to stay afloat.
“This will benefit those hospitality businesses that have successfully evolved operating models to incorporate takeaway and outdoor sales, and allow them to continue to do so.”
UKHospitality will now work with government on a long-term solution beyond September 2023, which will aim to dovetail with the forthcoming permanent pavement licence regime. It will also continue to examine broader, ongoing deregulation work to aid the hospitality sector’s recovery.