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Pub “Takeaway Pints” Banned From September As COVID Rules Expire

Pubs will no longer be able to sell takeaway pints from the end of September (2023) as rules introduced during the pandemic will be allowed to expire by the government.

Pubs were allowed to sell alcoholic drinks in plastic cups to customers on the street in 2020, when businesses could not trade normally during the pandemic, however, the Home Office has now said it will wind up the scheme on 30 September.

Pubs with an on-site alcohol licence developed the option as another revenue stream, serving many pints through hatches when they were forced to close their premises.

But the government has refused to extend the rules allowing for takeaway pints following a consultation attracted just 174 responses, a decision which has been branded “disappointing” by the British Beer and Pub Association.

Pubs will need to apply for permission from their local council if they want to continue selling takeaway alcohol when the current rules end on 30 September.

The Home Office said councils, drinks retailers and residents’ groups had preferred a return to pre-COVID rules.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitailty, said “There’s no doubt that this is disappointing news for hospitality businesses. The temporary measures introduced during the pandemic were practical and enabled businesses to generate additional sales,”.

“This decision will raise questions among hospitality businesses about how serious the government is about reducing red-tape for businesses, particularly when this would have been a low-cost, high-reward change.”

She added: “I would continue to urge the government to consider measures like these as prime targets for change, as part of its focus on deregulation.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association also said that the temporary change in legislation allowed pubs to offer takeaway options and host a “greater range of events for their communities in recent years”.