There’s a loophole in the UK’s new lockdown regulations that means, contrary to initial expectations, takeaway pints will be allowed.
The upside is that this could save millions of pints from being thrown away. The downside is it’s November, freezing cold, pitch-black at 5PM and you’re not allowed to hang out outside with more than one friend anyway. Still, at least it means you could theoretically “go for a pint” in the street or local park. And that’s something?
The rules dictate that businesses can sell takeaway drinks, on the strict proviso they are sold over the phone, via an app, text or even by post – imagine the horror of sitting in your flat and excitedly waiting for a pint of lager, only to discover it’s being delivered by Hermes.
You’re not allowed to enter the premises to collect your order, or hang around outside afterwards, and if you order via a drive-thru, you’re not allowed to leave your car. I wasn’t aware that drive-thru pubs existed, but perhaps this could be the next hot lockdown trend, after sourdough baking, Couch to 5K and mild-to-moderate depression.
The news has been received well by the drinks industry. The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) released a statement applauding the move, saying: “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.”
It added: “CAMRA continues to call on the government to bring in a comprehensive, long-term financial support package to support all pubs and breweries through the lockdown and the tough months that will follow this winter.”
Prior to this announcement, seven-and-a-half million pints were predicted to go to waste – hopefully this new measure will go some way to averting this tragic outcome. For the same reason, Wetherspoons is now offering pints for 99p, to get rid of them before lockdown begins.