Pubs, restaurants and cafes are expected to be allowed to provide food and drink outdoors in a change to licensing laws designed to support businesses through the coronavirus crisis.
The changes would see every pub, bar and restaurant automatically given permission to serve alcohol for people to drink on the pavement and in the street.
The proposals are said to form part of the new Business and Planning Bill. Under the new ‘Covid Bill’, the Government is set to introduce a range of new measures and “ways of working” to help businesses “adjust” while social distancing rules remain in place.
Relaxing the licensing rules is intended to give venues more freedom to “capitalise” on the summer months and warmer weather to aid economic recovery. By allowing venues to use outdoor space, it is hoped businesses can implement safer ways of working to manage the ongoing risks of coronavirus and, in particular, the need for social distancing.
The measure also comes as Boris Johnson prepares to announce a reduction to the current two-metre social distancing restriction.
The Bill is due to come before MPs in the House of Commons this week, according to Downing Street.