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Calls to allow pubs to operate as off-licences following takeaway alcohol ban

07 January 2021 by
Calls to allow pubs to operate as off-licences following takeaway alcohol ban

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) is urging people to contact their MPs to overturn the ban on pubs and restaurants selling takeaway alcohol during England's national lockdown.

Unlike during previous lockdowns hospitality venues are now only able to sell alcohol for delivery, cutting off a potential sales ‘lifeline' for struggling businesses.

There are no similar restrictions on the sale of alcohol at supermarkets, which operators feel unfairly penalises the on-trade.

Camra has been encouraging people to write to their MPs asking them to back a change in the rules to allow pubs to trade as off-licenses.

It said more than 6,000 people have already done so, and Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie raised the issue in the House of Commons on Wednesday (6 January).

Nik Antona, Camra's national chairman, said: "The least the government can do is take a sensible approach, think again and allow community pubs to sell takeaway products. No one wants to see drinking in the streets during a lockdown – but allowing pubs to sell alcohol in sealed containers for people to take home – just like shops do – would be completely reasonable."

He added: "Pubs are also the only place where people can get cask beer which is under threat due to months of forced pub closures, with some breweries stopping production.

"Without a change in these lockdown laws we risk seeing more locals going to the wall, traditional British cask ale under threat and people being forced into supermarkets instead of being allowed to support local businesses by buying beer from the pub to take home."

Camra is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 180,000 members that has been operating since 1971.

It has created an email template to send to MPs, which can be viewed here.

Image: Shutterstock

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