MINISTERS are pushing for Britain’s al fresco dining revolution to be made permanent after Covid.
The transformation of Britain’s pavements into bustling piazzas is one of the only upsides of the hated lockdown, government insiders reckon.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
They think that keeping the Mediterranean cafe culture going could be the key to saving the country’s struggling high streets.
One minister told HOAR: “The al fresco revolution has been a huge success.
“It could help save high streets. If you see lots of people out on the pavement having a coffee and enjoying themselves then you notice the shops.”
As lockdown made it illegal to sink a pint or tuck into a steak indoors, Downing Street tore up red tape to allow pubs and restaurants to serve customers outside instead.
They ordered jobsworth town hall bosses to slash costs and have a presumption in favour of approving applications for outdoor seating.
High streets saw an explosion in outside eateries and boozers as cash-starved bosses rushed to make the most of the new rules.
Hospitality bosses are urging No10 to make the bureaucracy-busting reforms permanent even after lockdown is finally torn up.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: “It has been revolutionary.
“We have seen it bring life into cities and towns across the country.
“We have finally got the Mediteranen cafe culture that we were trying to achieve, and we don’t want to lose that.”
Downing Street is currently considering their proposals and is expected to rule on it later this year.