Takeaway pints can be served again from April 12, PM's spokesman confirms

25 February 2021, 13:16 | Updated: 25 February 2021, 14:39

People can drink outdoors and takeaway pints will be allowed from April 12
People can drink outdoors and takeaway pints will be allowed from April 12. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

Takeaway pints can be served from pubs from April 12, in a boost for bars without gardens, Downing Street has confirmed.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Outdoor hospitality is permitted so I believe it would be the case that takeaway alcohol will be permitted."

Yesterday the London Evening Standard reported that outdoor dining will return from April 12 across the centre of London with a total of 60 roads, including 17 in Soho alone, transformed into traffic-free zones to enable more people to gather for food and drink.

From April 12 people will be allowed to meet in beer gardens as long as they abide by the rule of six or are made up of two households.

Then, no earlier than 17 May, pubs will be able to open indoors with no rules on ordering meals and last orders. However, the rule to sit and order will remain.

READ MORE: When will pubs and restaurants reopen in England?

With the majority of pubs, bars and restaurants closing in January 2021, and with areas in Covid tier 4 before Christmas, businesses and the public are keen to get them back up and running again.

Though it will be no earlier than June 21, it is hoped that by June 21 all limits can be removed. This would mean nightclubs and live events will be allowed to return.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive, said: "This is great news for pubs. Businesses are going to be severely restricted, most likely trading at a loss, until the restrictions are lifted in June.

"Allowing takeaway alcohol will be a vital lifeline for many and could be the difference between survival and failure.

"Almost 60% of pubs have no outdoor space so they won't be able to open in April. Takeaway is going to be their only source of income until May."

Society of Independent Brewers (Siba) chief executive James Calder said: "It is welcome news that Downing Street has today confirmed pubs and brewery taprooms who don't have outdoor space will be able to generate much-needed cashflow from April 12 by serving takeaway pints when beer gardens are permitted to open. But the big question is why not earlier?

"If two individuals are allowed to meet for a coffee from March 8, why not for a takeaway pint?"

Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) chief executive Tom Stainer said: "Allowing take-home sales again in England will help get some much-needed money through the tills for our pubs and breweries and will be especially helpful for those venues that don't have outside space they can reopen.

"This will also allow consumers to support their local pubs and once again access traditional, fresh, cask beer to enjoy at home."