Pavement licences extended to help on-trade reopen

10th March, 2021 by Owen Bellwood

The UK government has agreed to extend pavement licences to allow more bars to serve drinks outdoors.

Under the proposed rules, more pubs and bars will be able to serve drinkers outdoors

Under the proposed easing of lockdown measures in England, hospitality venues would be able to serve people outdoors only from 12 April.

To support the reopening of more on-trade venues as restrictions lift, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, Robert Jenrick, has announced plans to extend pavement licences in England for a further 12 months. The proposal is subject to parliamentary approval.

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.
Details of the announcement were included in a letter sent by the communities secretary to councils, which urged them to do ‘everything possible’ to prepare businesses for reopening later in the year.

Reopening safely 

The proposed extension of pavement licencing in England has been welcomed by trade body UK Hospitality, which said the move would allow more businesses to “reopen safely on 12 April for outdoor eating and drinking”.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, said: “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.

“Thousands of hospitality venues opened last summer, safely serving millions of people and supporting millions of jobs. The extension of this outdoor flexibility, along with the support offered by the chancellor in his budget last week, will enable hospitality businesses to do the same this summer as they look to rebuild following a devastating year of lockdowns and trading restrictions. Although it should be remembered that many hospitality venues don’t have outdoor space and therefore won’t be able to trade until 17 May at the earliest.”

Under the proposed easing of lockdown measures in England, bars and pubs could reopen for indoor drinking on 17 May.

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