Coronavirus: Takeaway pints banned under second lockdown

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read
The new restrictions state: “Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.” Photo: Reuters / Phil Noble
The new restrictions state: “Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.” Photo: Reuters / Phil Noble

Alcohol takeaways will be banned in England under new COVID-19 lockdown restrictions due to come into force on Thursday.

The restrictions, announced in a press conference by Boris Johnson on Saturday (31 October), will see England locked down for four weeks from 5 November to 2 December in an effort to combat rapidly rising coronavirus infection rates.

The new restrictions state: “Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.”

This is a marked difference from England’s first national lockdown. Many pubs and bars used selling takeaway pints as a way to stay afloat. The change in rules could be a knockout blow to many businesses who will now be banned from selling alcohol completely.

The industry has been treading a tricky line amid different tiers of restrictions. Under tier two, for those from separate households who are not part of a support bubble, meeting at a bar or restaurant would be required to sit outdoors. Under Tier 3, pubs and bars must close unless they serve food.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BPPA) said the industry faces “permanent devastation” without proper support.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BPPA, said: "We cannot see the logic of letting supermarkets and shops sell alcohol, but not pubs that have off-licenses.

“Government should reverse this decision immediately to help pubs and brewers survive and pints being needlessly wasted."

READ MORE: What's next for the furlough scheme? The extension and Job Support Scheme explained

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA’s) National Chairman, Nik Antona, said: "The second lockdown is a devastating blow for an industry that is already on its knees.

"Pubs across the country have already invested thousands to reopen COVID-safe environments despite facing seriously reduced incomes.

"We also need a clear route map out of lockdown which is based on evidence, otherwise we will see many pubs and breweries close their doors forever.”

Watch: Why UK tax hikes may seem inevitable