As a result of the government's decision to retain Covid licensing regulations, pubs in England and Wales will be permitted to continue selling drinks to go.
In 2020, when they were forced to close due to pandemic laws, they were permitted to serve customers via passageways.
The regulations were set to expire on September 30, but they will now remain in effect until March 2025. This measure, intended to save the industry from financial catastrophe, was extended twice during the pandemic.
During the temporary extension of the regulations, the government stated that it would continue searching for a permanent solution that would best assist local pubs and bars.
A source was quoted saying that the prime minister had "heard the industry loud and clear." The regulations, which were granted in July 2020, permit pubs without an off-premises license to sell alcohol for takeout without obtaining permission from their local council.
In addition, they are permitted to sell alcohol on the street within the area covered by any pavement licenses they may possess, a practice that will continue after September.
The modifications allowed establishments to continue operating during Covid restrictions.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, whose members own more than 20,000 pubs, applauded the decision, stating that landlords would be delighted to no longer need to apply for additional licenses.
She mentioned that this was a measure enacted to aid the pubs during difficult economic times, and the prime minister must acknowledge that these businesses continue to endure tremendous pressure.
Martin McTague, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, stated that this action would provide pubs with an "additional revenue stream to offset escalating costs."
Kate Nicholls, chief executive officer of UK Hospitality, stated that many businesses had benefited from pavement licenses and had constructed outdoor areas for delivery sales and al fresco dining.
She added that the decision to continue them was a “welcome dose of common sense" and would prevent restaurants, taverns, and pubs from being burdened with additional red tape.
Pubs that wished to continue serving takeaway pints after the regulations were set to expire at the end of September would have needed permission from their respective local councils.
The Home Office announced that it had consulted councils, residents' organizations and purveyors of alcoholic beverages before making the decision to retain the laws in place.
The results of these consultations indicated that the majority of those who answered wanted a return to the rules that were in place before the pandemic.
Pub organizations were concerned that if such a move had been made, landlords would have been obliged to go through long application and approval procedures in order to continue selling takeaway food.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated, "I am committed to supporting British establishments and ensuring that they receive all the assistance they require after surviving the pandemic storm as we expand our economy.
Without imposing additional burdens on businesses, we are reducing unnecessary red tape so that consumers can enjoy a takeaway pint or drink al fresco."