There was confusion about the guidance because it stated restaurants and cafés can offer food delivery and takeaways while closed to the public but there was no mention of whether pubs could do the same – and include alcoholic drinks – and there is no specific guidance for pubs.
However, MHCLG has confirmed pubs are able to offer hot food takeaway and delivery services for up to 12 months.
This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement of new, strict public measures on Monday, locking down the nation, meaning people will not be able to leave their household other than to make essential journeys such as going to the shop for food or medicine, to exercise once a day or travel to and from work, if unable to work from home, or a key worker – for three weeks – amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Operators must ensure there is a distance of two metres between each customer and member of staff, let people enter the site only in small numbers to ensure spaces aren’t crowded and make sure queue control is required outside of the pub.
People must not consume food or drinks on site at pubs, restaurants or cafés while waiting for takeaway food.
Relaxed planning rules
However, those offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages if their licence does not permit off-sales.
As of 2pm on Saturday (21 March), closures are now enforceable by law in England and Wales due to the threat to public health, and businesses that operate in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence.
The Government relaxed planning rules last Wednesday (18 March) to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways for hot food and drinks to serve people at home.