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COVID-19 Licensing Issues: ‘Al fresco’ pubs and dining to help with recovery Published Date: 23/05/2020

It has been reported that the Government is looking at a "blanket permission" for restaurants and cafes to make use of public spaces.

The Telegraph reported that: “Businesses that hold licences to have tables and chairs at the front of their premises are to be allowed to set up market-style stalls instead, as part of a bid to begin reviving high streets before pubs and eateries can begin opening their doors to customers, potentially in the summer.”

It continued: “Under plans being spearheaded by Robert Jenrick, the Housing and Local Government Secretary, the Government will issue guidance allowing shops, restaurants and pubs to set up stalls in front of their premises in areas on which they already have a licence to place tables and chairs. The move comes after minsters previously relaxed planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.

“A Whitehall source said it could lead to a "more vibrant style of continental town centres in the summer", if infection rates continue to reduce. Government scientists have said that the risk of Covid-19 being transmitted outdoors is significantly lower than indoors.

“Ministers are even considering a "blanket permission" for restaurants and cafes to make use of public squares or pedestrianised streets above a certain width for stalls, or chairs and tables once customers are allowed to eat on their premises again and where the furniture would not block routes for disabled people.”

Source: The Telegraph