Licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries, are exempt from the UK shutdown, the government has clarified.

The exemption would appear to allow licensed bottles shops to remain open, providing an opportunity for hybrid operators who have off-sales element to their bar.

Any brewery shop that remains open are subject to the usual social distancing restrictions of remaining two metres apart, and managing queues.

The news follows yesterday’s clarification that pubs are able to sell food for delivery and takeaway while closed to the public.

Only pubs that have on off-sale license can sells alcohol for takeaway or delivery.

The Government relaxed planning rules last week to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways for hot food and drinks to serve people at home.

James Calder, CEO of SIBA, said: “Following pressure from SIBA and other industry bodies, the Government has provided much needed clarification that off-licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol, including within breweries, are exceptions to the closures. It is a matter for each brewery and off-licence whether they continue to open and if they do so should follow the Government’s important safety guidance.”