Restaurants, pubs and cafes have been given the green light to provide takeaway services for another year, providing a “lifeline” during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government announced today that hospitality firms will be allowed to offer food and drink takeaways until March 2022 without having to go through a planning application process.
Rules around takeaway services were relaxed at the beginning of the pandemic to allow closed businesses to trade during lockdown.
The automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services were due to expire in March 2021, but have now been extended for a further year, communities secretary Robert Jenrick announced today.
The government said the extension will give businesses confidence to continue to serve customers and retain their staff, while helping them adapt to longer term changes such as serving customers from market stalls.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality said: “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.
“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.
“It will help avoid waste and allow businesses to retain a valuable link with their customers and communities.”