Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has called on the government to give struggling pubs financial support by allowing them to be able to sell alcohol for people to take away.
The current lockdown rules have prohibited the use of takeaway alcohol from venues which has meant that whilst shops can continue to sell alcohol to take away, pubs can only do so via home delivery and not through a collection service as in previous lockdowns.
The campaign by the consumer organisation was raised in the House of Commons by MP Siobhan Baillie for Stroud who asked the government to reconsider its decision of the sale of takeaway alcohol.
Nik Antona, national chairman for CAMRA, said: “It is absolutely unfair that whilst big supermarkets can continue to sell alcohol, our struggling local pubs in England can’t act as an off licence too.
“This was a real lifeline for many pubs during previous lockdowns and is desperately needed again now, with landlords up and down the country struggling to make ends meet after months of closures, curfews and restrictions. 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.”
He added: “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.
“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.”