Pubs, restaurants and hotels will be able to offer hot food takeaways without planning permission during the coronavirus outbreak.
The government has confirmed that restrictions will be relaxed as many businesses look to diversify in a bid to maintain a revenue stream through the crisis.
Communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “These changes will provide vital flexibility to pubs and restaurants and will ensure people are able to safely stay at home while still supporting some of the great local businesses across this country.”
Many pubs, restaurants and hotels have already announced they will launch delivery services following government advice for people to step up social distancing earlier this week.
These include London's My Neighbours the Dumplings, Lupins, Levan and Salon; the Creameries in Manchester and coffee group Grind.
Oakman Inns has also expanded to offer delivery and collection. Founder Peter Borg-Neal said: “In tough times, families stick together – and that’s exactly what we are going to do. We also want to look after the individuals and families who live in our communities – just as we normally do, but more so in these difficult times. By offering our new collection and delivery services we hope we can help provide them with our freshly prepared dishes and a range of drinks which will hopefully mean they will feel less isolated.
"We are also asking our customers to do something for us – purchase gift vouchers to use in the future which will help us with our cash flow.”
Responding to the announcement , UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said: “This move is welcome as it will give more hospitality businesses the chance to help and serve the community. However, the big issue that remains is people - what was announced by the chancellor will not stop job losses as companies will be very worried about taking loans to pay staff when they have zero income.
“What the pubs and restaurants desperately need is a package of measures including government funding to keep people in employment and to help avert widespread job losses. This is chronically urgent and needs to happen now.”
Yesterday, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £330b relief effort for businesses including the scrapping of business rates for all hospitality businesses for the next year.