ALL pubs, restaurants and cafes could be allowed to serve drinks outdoors in a major shake up of licencing laws to help businesses through the coronavirus crisis.
It’s a welcome move for thirsty punters who are flocking to get their hands on beers after the lengthy lockdown – and with 34C forecast this week.
The Government will this week publish the Business and Planning Bill which will give firms freedom to take extra measures to make ends meet over the summer months.
Boris Johnson is set to reveal more details on the plan tomorrow when he speaks in the House of Commons.
He is also due to announce the results of a fresh review into the 2m rule – which is thought tie into the hospitality update.
And he is set to announce whether pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and hotels can open next month as planned, from July 4.
The risks of meeting up with friends and family outdoors greatly reduce the chances of catching coronavirus, studies have shown.
The PM’s spokeperson said earlier that ministers were working on “legislation to enable businesses to adjust to new ways of working and to help them capitalise on the summer months”.
“We will look to support businesses to implement safer ways of working, to manage the ongoing risks from coronavirus and in particular the need for social distancing.”
It’s understood that the plans will automatically allow any venue with an alcohol licence to serve their drinks to take away – in a boost for pubs who may be allowed to open again from next month.
Many pubs already are allowed to serve drinks outdoors, but many cafes and restaurants won’t have permission to do so at the moment.
The government will also drop the 28-day consultation period for cafés, bars and restaurants setting up seating outside, The Times reported.
At the moment pints are allowed to be served to take away if pubs wish to do so, but drinkers can’t stay on the premises.
Westminster council is preparing 50 projects to make space for alfresco dining by widening pavements and closing roads too.
The alfresco areas are expected to be set up in districts such as Covent Garden, Soho and Mayfair – where there are already large pedestrian only areas.
Social distancing rules mean that many restaurants and pubs will struggle to operate – as not enough people will be able to come into their venues when they do reopen.
The PM is also poised to cut down the 2m rule to 1m tomorrow to allow more people to be allowed to be allowed into spaces.
Planning permission deadlines will also be extended to save hundreds of construction projects from delays, ministers are set to announce.
Projects that were put on pause while the nation went into lockdown are set to be allowed to continue, with no need to reapply for the permission, the Daily Mail reported.
Longer hours will also be allowed on work sites to help with social distancing and planning appeals could be sped up, the paper claimed.