Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire, is urging residents to support their local businesses, including pubs as they transition to takeaways or delivery services during the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Mr Browne welcomed the government confirmation that regulations will be relaxed to enable pubs or cafés to carry out a change of use to a hot food takeaway.
The measures will apply to hot food and drinks. Serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licensing laws. Many local retailers are also beginning to operate as delivery services or allowing customers to order online or via phone and collect in store.
Mr Browne visited the Chequers in Fowlmere, his own local pub for many years, which has closed its doors due to the outbreak and is now struggling to retain staff.
Utilising a window as a service hatch, complete with sanitiser and as many social distancing precautions as possible, they will making use of the relaxed regulations to serve pizza, curry and bottled drinks to residents to takeaway and ensure some staff remain employed for as long as possible.
Anthony Browne MP commented: “The collapse in demand means many local businesses, including community stalwarts who have been in business for decades, are already really struggling.
“This relaxation of regulation allows more businesses to retain staff and ensures a steady stream of income, but only if we support them as a community. I know not everyone can afford a takeaway, but if you can I urge you to call your local pubs and restaurants and find out if they are still serving.
“It is heartbreaking to see people who have spent years building up a business to see it suddenly taken away from them. If you don’t use them, you will lose them.”