Granting ‘blanket' permission for restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars to use pedestrianised streets for outdoor dining, is being considered by housing and local government minister Robert Jenrick.
The latest development in the #UKGrandOutDoorCafe campaign, led by Piano Works founder Alan Lorrimer, follows an open letter to business secretary Alok Sharma calling on the government to allow local authorities to permit hospitality operators to use open spaces and squares around their venues to serve food and drink.
The campaign is supported by UKHospitality as well as operators including Brat, Albion and East and the Breakfast Club. Under the proposals, operators would be allowed the flexibility to extend their current licensing conditions and trading hours with no additional fees charged until September.
In effect, selected spaces would become designated pedestrianised zones, allowing the public to enjoy "physically distanced" meals and drinks with members of their household safely.
The proposal follows reports earlier this month that Vilnius, Lithuania's capital, was to be turned into a "giant open-air café" after local authorities agreed to allow bars and restaurants to set up tables outside free of charge to comply with physical distancing regulations.
To support the campaign, visit www.UKGSOC.org.