Restaurants receive automatic takeaway permission until 2022

The government has granted restaurants permission to automatically serve takeaway food and alcohol until 2022, as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt by the sector.

This means operators will not need to enter a planning application process to sell these provisions until 23 March 2022.

Businesses forced to close during local and national lockdowns have been able to serve takeaway food and alcoholic drinks, as long as it has been pre-ordered by customers.

Such automatic permissions were due to expire next year, but have been extended for a further 12 months as communities secretary Robert Jenrick looks to secure assurance for the hospitality industry, which is becoming solely reliant on delivery and takeaway sales. 

“We’ve taken decisive action since the beginning of the pandemic to support our pubs, restaurants, cafes and markets," says Jenrick.

“Making it easier for them to provide takeaways has helped these businesses to adapt and helped sustain many through an unbelievably difficult year.

"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.

“It will also be a boost for their customers who can now look forward to continuing to enjoy meals at home from their favourite restaurants.

“As these reforms have made such a difference I will be considering making them permanent.”

“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," comments Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, in reaction to the news.

“The extension will undoubtedly help many.

"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.”