Pubs, restaurants and cafes can keep putting seats on pavements

Pubs, restaurants and cafes can put tables on pavements for another YEAR after ministers extend licences to help revival when they reopen on April 12

  • Government is extending licences for pubs and restaurants to use pavements
  • Hospitality venues set to be allowed to serve customers outdoors from April 12
  • Ministers urging councils to do ‘everything possible’ to help get up and running  

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to put tables on pavements for another year as the government scrambles to help them recover.

Most of the hospitality sector will be able to reopen from April 12 under Boris Johnson’s lockdown ‘roadmap’, but only to serve customers outdoors. 

In a letter to English councils, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick urged them to do ‘everything possible’ to get high streets and businesses back up and running.

He said measures introduced last year for venues to apply for pavement licences – costing up to £100 – will be kept in place for another 12 months.

Anyone who received the permission before should not have to pay again, he insisted.

The move comes amid rising alarm about the prospects for millions of jobs linked to the hospitality sector, which has been hammered by lockdowns over the past year.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a package of support at the Budget last week including extending the massive furlough scheme until September.

But the sector has warned of ‘glaring omissions’, pointing out that many firms will not be able to trade at all until May 17 because they do not have outdoor space.  

Pubs, restaurants and cafes are being allowed to put tables on pavements for another year

In a letter to English councils, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick (left) urged them to do ‘everything possible’ to get high streets and businesses back up and running

The licenses – which can run for between three months and a year – were due to be phased out from the end of September.

But they will now run until the end of September 2022. 

Mr Jenrick said: ‘We’re all looking forward to seeing pubs, cafes and restaurants open again as we start to gear up for what should be a great British summer.

‘Therefore, I’m delighted to announce an extension on temporary provisions for pavement licences for a further 12 months.

‘This will give further certainty to businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.’

Other loosenings will also stay in place, including broad latitude for venues to serve takeaway, and greater flexibility for markets, car boot sales and fairs.   

Six people from different households or groups of any size from two households will be allowed to use outdoor facilities in England from April 12.

Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality said: ‘We wholeheartedly welcome the Secretary of State’s decision which will enable many more hospitality businesses – such as pubs, bars, hotels, cafés and restaurants to reopen safely on 12 April for outdoor eating and drinking than would have been otherwise possible.

‘It’s encouraging to see the Government make clear that all such licences previously granted under these provisions should continue to apply beyond summer 2021, so that businesses do not have to reapply or be charged a further fee. We hope that all local authorities follow this direction and support their local hospitality businesses – as many did last year.

‘We also welcome assurances that the right to erect marquees and awnings for two months without planning permission will remain in place for hospitality businesses.’ 

Ms Nichols said the step would help businesses ‘rebuild following a devastating year of lockdowns and trading restrictions’. 

However, she pointed out that many hospitality venues don’t have outdoor space and still will not be able to trade at all until at least May 17.

Ms Nichols insisted the assistance will be ‘almost entirely in vain’ if hospitality venues cannot reopen in full from the PM’s planned date of June 21. 

‘For the hospitality industry to be able to fully recover, the Government must also address some glaring omissions from its package of support, such as the business rates cap, which will penalise tens of thousands of venues, and an extension of the rent moratoria,’ she added.

The road map unveiled by Boris Johnson says pubs and restaurants should be able to serve customers outdoors from April 12 

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