Portsmouth pubs cheer government u-turn on takeaway alcohol sales ban

PUBS in Hampshire are celebrating tonight after the government announces a u-turn on its ban of takeaway alcohol sales during the national lockdown – which would have seen seven million pints poured down the drain across the UK.

Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 9:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020, 9:40 am

It comes after pubs and breweries across Portsmouth joined the widespread alarm at the government’s proposal to stop takeaway booze, warning that landlords could lose thousands of pounds in wasted stock.

Now, the government has said that alcohol can be sold as takeaway or delivery if it is pre-ordered by phone or online.

The news has cheered up staff at The Lawrence Arms, which plans to offer the service, according to supervisor Maria Cooper.

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The Hole In The Wall's landlord Jon McKerracher faced thousands of pounds in wasted stock - now saved by the government's u-turn.

The staff member of three years said: ‘It’s massively appreciated here.

‘It seemed a bit unfair that you could go to a supermarket to buy alcohol but not your local – it would have been a massive shame.

‘Now the customers have been asking us what plans are.

‘And we can tell them we will be running a takeaway service.

‘We have a few local breweries that we support so we can support them too now.’

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Portsmouth pubs face pouring thousands of pints down the drain due to takeaway a...

The relieved feeling was shared at The Hole In The Wall, which had relied on takeaway sales during the first national lockdown in order to keep the business going.

Manager Tony Durrant said: ‘We are totally relieved.

‘It’s saved our bacon.’

It comes after thousands of concerned landlords and pub-lovers wrote to their email to speak out against the initial ban, according to the chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale, Nik Antona.

He said: ‘This is a vital lifeline for local pubs and breweries across England over the coming four weeks, giving them a lifeline of income and allowing people to support local businesses.’

Brewers also have reason to celebrate – as not only will takeaway sales help them to stay afloat, but the government has announced they can operate as off-licenses.

A spokesman for The Society of Independent Brewers said: ‘The government have also made clear in the guidance that brewery shops can remain open and operate as off-licenses, meaning bottled and canned beer from small breweries can be sold via on-site shops without pre-order.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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