Government Announce Pandemic Pavement License Rules to be Made Permanent

Temporary pavement licence rule easing introduced during the Covid pandemic are to be made permanent

The words ‘Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove’ generally give me a powerful urge to vomit. However the announcement that Gove’s Levelling up and Regeneration Bill, due to be announced during the Queen’s Speech tomorrow, will make pavement license rules introduced during the pandemic permanent, is a welcome one.

Various trade bodies have lobbied for the changes to be set in stone, both in an effort to help hospitality recover from the pandemic, and help keep Covid levels in check by providing more outside drinking and dining facilities, and those efforts have paid off. While the announcement will be made official by Her Maj tomorrow, Government published a press release on the .Gov website over the weekend. The pertinent section reads:

To support vibrant high streets and communities thrive, pavement licensing red-tape will be permanently scrapped, freeing up businesses to serve food al fresco and attract diners all year round. During the pandemic, restaurants, pubs and bars were granted temporary powers to serve guests on pavements, helping to mitigate lost floorspace for tables due to social distancing requirements. Through new legislation, these powers will be made permanent to expand capacity for businesses to boost local economies and inject life into local communities.

You can view the full press release here.

There is no word yet about how the newly-codified scheme will work, or how much, if anything, it will cost venues to implement. We will bring you those details as they are released.