Ministers due to extend alcohol off-sales permissions

18 July 2022 by
Ministers due to extend alcohol off-sales permissions

Ministers are planning to extend the temporary alcohol off-sales permissions, subject to parliamentary approval.

The scheme, which was originally due to lapse on 30 September 2022, was introduced during the pandemic to allow hospitality businesses to sell alcohol as part of takeaway and delivery orders; as well on pavements and other outdoor areas.

Hospitality businesses are welcoming news that the government intends to ease off-sales provisions for a further year.

UKHospitality and other trade bodies have been pushing for the Home Office to offer both on-sales and off-sales permissions under the Licensing Act.

Michael Kill, chief executive officer of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said: "The extension of the off-sales easement from the Government has come at a key moment within the recovery of the sector, as we move into the summer season.

"This is without a doubt a step forward, but we must also ask Government to consider other areas of deregulation and easement which would support a broader range of businesses within the night time economy and hospitality sectors.

"These additional considerations would support the recovery of the sector by removing barriers and streamlining process to encourage investment, growth and jobs."

"We continue to work with Government and key stakeholders to develop these opportunities and further financial reliefs as we transition to new PM and cabinet with a fresh outlook on the situation."

Kate Nicholls, chief executive officer of UKHospitality, added: "This decision to extend the off-sales easement is the right one, and hugely significant. If this had lapsed, it would have caused further problems for many hundreds of hospitality businesses already struggling to survive.

"But persistent lobbying by UKHospitality and others has convinced government that deregulation measures such as this can help businesses, at what is a critical time in their efforts to stay afloat.

"This will benefit those hospitality businesses that have successfully evolved operating models to incorporate takeaway and outdoor sales, and allow them to continue to do so."

UKHospitality announced that it will work with the government to create a long-term solution beyond September 2023, which would also support the forthcoming permanent pavement licence scheme.

Image: DisobeyArt / Shutterstock

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