Pubs will not be allowed to sell takeaway pints from the end of next month as rules which were introduced during the pandemic will be allowed to expire by the government.
Takeaway alcohol was first introduced in 2020 to help pubs during lockdowns and other safety restrictions amid the spread of COVID-19.
Pubs with an on-site alcohol licence developed the option as another revenue stream, serving many pints through hatches when they were forced to close their premises.
But the government has refused to extend the rules allowing for takeaway pints after a consultation attracted just 174 responses – a decision which has been branded “disappointing” by the British Beer and Pub Association.
Pubs will need to apply for permission from their local council if they want to continue selling takeaway alcohol when the current rules end on 30 September.
The Home Office said councils, drinks retailers and residents’ groups had preferred a return to pre-COVID rules.
But industry groups representing pubs and landlords said the decision would create more “unnecessary regulation” with no guarantee councils will approve applications for licence changes for individual premises.
Last week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is teetotal, was heckled at the Great British Beer Festival in London when he claimed alcohol duty reforms are “backing British pubs”.
His visit came on the day of an alcohol duty increase.
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A new system taxing all alcohol based on its strength has seen taxes rise for some types of drink.
A publican who heckled Mr Sunak criticised the Tory leader for having the “audacity” to visit the festival.
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Rudi Keyser, who runs a pub in Wimbledon, said: “The amount of breweries that have shut down in the last year has been phenomenal.
“They are raising alcohol duty across the board significantly.
“And he has the audacity to come and pull a pint for PR.”