Restaurants permitted to sell alcohol in lockdown

Restaurants will be allowed to sell takeaway alcohol during England’s imminent lockdown providing it is has been pre-ordered.

In a relaxation to the rules outlined by the prime minister on Monday 2 November, pre-ordered alcohol can be collected by customers as long as they don’t enter the site.

Drinks can be ordered online, by phone or by text.

Prior to the recent announcement, hospitality operators had been quickly trying to sell the beer stock that was at risk of being thrown away.

UKHospitality has welcomed "the pragmatic decision", saying that the decision will ensure a vital lifeline for businesses is "not strangled" and will enable venues to retain a valuable link with their communities.

"It is a welcome and helpful clarification that restaurants and pubs will be permitted to continue with off-licence sales of alcohol through delivery, click and collect and takeaway for pre-ordered sales," says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

"Having that channel of revenue was a lifeline to many businesses in the first lockdown.

“The delivery and collection provisions also represent a common sense approach to minimising waste.

"That those venues can also open as a shop, including as an off licence, is also welcome.

“It is a relief to have sight of this guidance – yet again, venues have precious little time in which to digest and implement them.

"A vital element to the successful application of the guidance, at short notice, will be clear local authority guidance on their enforcement, so that venues have confidence that there will be consistency across England.”