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Relaxation of rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways

Published Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The Government has announced relaxation of planning rules to assist pubs and restaurants during the Coronavirus pandemic.

For the next twelve months premises will be able to operate as takeaways providing hot food and drink.  Further information on relaxing planning rules can be found at

Any business that diversifies in the coming weeks will still need to ensure that they comply with food safety and licensing laws.  To assist the Council has provided a checklist of things to consider:

•    You can sell hot food and hot drink between 05:00 and 23:00.  Sales after 23:00 will still require authorisation for late night refreshment under licensing law.
•    Premises licence holders should check their licence conditions and ensure that they are permitted to sell off sales of alcohol before offering this service.
•    When delivering alcohol always ensure that ID checks are still carried out and that alcohol is not given to anyone under the age of 18.
•    Food grade containers and packaging materials must be used for any takeaway food.
•    Hot food must be delivered in suitable insulated bags or boxes to maintain temperature.
•    Consider the time and distance for delivering and try and keep both to a minimum to maintain food quality.
•    Vehicles must be fit for purpose and food must not be subjected to potential contamination.  Keep the interior of the vehicle clean and do not transport food with animals or chemicals such as fuel, oil and screen wash.
•    Check your vehicle insurance to ensure you are covered for business use.
•    You still have a requirement to provide information on what allergens food contains if asked by a customer.  The law lists 14 allergens that must be declared if asked.  Make sure that anyone answering phones or delivering food has full allergen information available.
•    You must detail the food safety controls you have put in place in your documented food safety management system / Safer Food Better Business Pack.
•    If you take on additional staff to assist you with deliveries they must be suitably instructed or trained in basic food safety.

Further help and advice can be obtained by contacting the Health Protection Team at East Northamptonshire Council on 01832 742000.