Relaxed licensing regulations that allow pubs, restaurants and bars to sell takeaway pints have been extended.

Al fresco drinking, introduced widely during the pandemic, allowed customers the choice to take away their drinks.

The relaxed regulations were due to expire in September, but have now been extended in Parliament, meaning any site permitted to sell alcohol on their premises can sell for off-site consumption, without applying for a new licence.

Premises will also be able to continue to serve alcohol in the area covered by any pavement licence that they have.

The extension will run for a further 18 months.

Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “It is vital that we do everything we can to support British pubs. They are a cornerstone of every community, and a beating heart in our growing economy.

“The hospitality industry has faced a tough couple of years, and by relaxing this red tape we will give our pubs and bars the support they need to thrive.”

Responding to the news, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the government’s decision to allow our pubs to continue selling takeaway pints. This policy supported our pubs through the dark days of the pandemic and going forward it will allow them to diversify, particularly in warm and sunny weather when people want to make the most of not only local pubs, but parks and other public spaces as well.

“The government recognises the value our industry adds to communities and high streets across the country, and we look forward to working with them to bring forward further measures, such as business rates reform, to further unlock the potential of local pubs up and down the country.”