The Government has announced plans to make urgent changes to law to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways as part of coronavirus response.

It was announced by the Government that planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.


  • Communities Secretary confirms the government will set out measures so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways to serve people having to stay at home
  • Relaxation of planning measures will be introduced as soon as possible and will apply for a limited period
  • Currently planning permission is required for businesses to carry out this change
  • The measures will apply to hot food and drinks. Serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licensing laws.

What about your licence?

The details of this announcement has not been made clear yet apart from the Government confirming alcohol deliveries will not be part of the relaxation.

The Licensing Act 2003 does not license the sale or delivery of food apart from hot food and drink when this is done between the hours of 23:00 and 05:00.

As such, any business can deliver food between these hours without the need to vary their licence.

If you want to deliver alcohol as part of the offer, you will need to vary your premises licence.  This can be done as a minor variation and should take no longer, than 15 working days assuming there are no objections.

Please contact us for further licensing advice or assistance with making an application.

Stephen McCaffrey

Regulatory defence barrister specialising in alcohol and entertainment licensing law, appeals and defence.

Premises licence legal issue?

Licensing Defence Barristers are leading licensing barristers dealing with all legag matters relating to alcohol, entertainment and late-night licences.