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Pavement licences introduced during Covid will be made permanent next year

Published:  25 July, 2022

Temporary changes brought in to help the hospitality industry during Covid will be extended until Spring 2023 before being made permanent.

The licence makes it easier, cheaper and quicker for businesses to serve food and drink outdoors, an initiative welcomed by the public, restaurant owners and pub landlords amid the pandemic.

Today’s announcement will ensure businesses can keep operating outside by extending the temporary provisions that expire in September before the permanent changes become law.

Secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Greg Clark 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.”

It follows news of the off-sales licence extension, another government Covid initiative that allowed businesses to sell alcohol as part of takeaway, delivery orders and other outdoor areas.

According to UK Hospitality, the move will help hundreds of hospitality businesses struggling to survive after lobbying for the Home Office to continue to allow premises with on-sales only – under the Licensing Act – also to provide off-sales.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “This decision to extend the off-sales easement is the right one and hugely significant. If this had lapsed, it would have caused further problems for many hundreds of hospitality businesses already struggling to survive.”