The head of leisure and licensing at a regional law firm is offering some clarification for pubs that want to operate takeaway services during the coronavirus lockdown.

Malcolm Ireland, from Napthens, which has an office in Kendal, said many people were contacting his team to check the newly announced rules.

He said: “Initially, the government guidance listed both public houses and restaurants as businesses that must close but with no exceptions for public houses.

“Restaurants, on the other hand, were subject to an exemption that they could continue to operate deliveries and takeaways."

However, he said the guidance now provides an exemption for "restaurants and public houses, wine bars or other drinking establishments".

“It should be noted that whilst planning regulation is being relaxed to enable this, licensing is a separate regime so any restrictions on your premises licence will still apply."

He said there was now also an exception in the retail category for "off licences and licensed shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries".

However, he said just because a business could operate a takeaway and delivery service it did not mean it should and they would have to carefully consider the wellbeing of employees, health and safety, employment law and access to finance.