Cut to alfresco dining red tape to be made permanent next year
Changes making it easier and cheaper for hospitality operators to get pavement licences are to be extended past September and made permanent next spring, the government has announced.
Rules were relaxed to make it simpler for pubs, bars, and restaurants to get licenses to serve food and drink on pavements and pedestrianised roads during the pandemic.
This was due to end in September but has been extended, allowing businesses to continue to offer these services while the government works towards making the changes permanent in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
Greg Clark, secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: "We want to see bustling town centres across the country and that's why the changes we made to licensing rules will become permanent.
"Making al fresco dining a permanent fixture on our high streets is part of our plan to level up communities and create vibrant places people want to live and work."
Hospitality operators welcomed the initiative when news of the extension first circulated in May.
Ruben Maza, co-founder of Lobos Meat & Tacos in Soho, told The Caterer that the permanent scrapping of red tape would be "fantastic news".
He said: "Alfresco and the closure of roads not only revived hospitality businesses, but it [also] dramatically increases the footfall of every other kind of business in the area.
"I'm sure that there is a significant number of businesses that will welcome this news, and I welcome it as well."
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