Restaurants and pubs get approval to become takeaways as coronavirus ban bites

Thousands of restaurants across the UK have been given green light to become takeaways as part of the government's economic plan to deal with Covid-19.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £300bn package to try and stop a recession developing after the government aggressively stepped up measures to combat the virus.

It included government-backed business loans and a mortgage holiday for up to three months in a bid to rescue the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The public has been urged to avoid unnecessary social gatherings, including pubs, clubs, theatres and restaurants, as the epidemic accelerates towards its peak.

But buried in the Treasury's announcement is a change that could help your local diner.


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The government says that to support the food industry and help provide meals for people who need to self-isolate it we will "relax planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing take aways without a planning application".

Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: "We are committed to doing everything we can to tackle the pandemic and support people, businesses and communities through this difficult time.

“These changes will provide vital flexibility to pubs and restaurants and will ensure people are able to safely stay at home while still supporting some of the great local businesses across this country.”

The Government has confirmed the relaxations to planning rules will be put in place as soon as possible to provide reassurance to businesses and enable them to start providing takeaways to people quickly.

Normally restaurants must receive permission from the local council before beginning deliveries.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We will act like any wartime government and do whatever it takes to support our economy."

Announcing the measures at a No10 press conference, he added: "This enemy can be deadly – but it is also beatable."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak described the interventions in the economy as "a scale almost unimaginable a few weeks ago". The Tory said: "This is not a time for ideology and orthodoxy. This is time to be bold. For courage."

But unions said the measures must go further to help the lowest earners and not be a "bailout for boardrooms" alone.

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