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Village pub (Photo: Sandro Cenni, Unsplash)
08 April 2021

Glorious Day for UK

United Kingdom | From 12 April, restaurants and pubs will be allowed to serve customers again outdoors. They will then be given the go-ahead to offer indoor seating from 17 May, provided they meet specific covid-19 conditions. Restrictions are due to be totally relaxed by 21 June 2021.

The great alfresco April reopening of the nation’s pubs received a boost when the Government said it was slashing red tape to allow pubs and bars to put up marquees without having to apply for planning permission. UK media had revealed that landlords were facing demands to pay hundreds of pounds in fees to town halls for additional planning and licensing permits.

But the government ordered local authorities to back down and said new rules will also allow customers to spill out on to pavements without landlords having to extend their licences.

Regulations eased

As part of the new rules coming into effect from April, the controversial 10 pm curfew was scrapped. Moreover, customers will not have to buy a “substantial meal” when ordering an alcoholic drink. They will have to drink at a table, though, and wear facemasks when not sitting down.

Josh Green, Head of Public Affairs of the British Beer and Pub Association, was quoted as saying: “It’s good news for pubs, as we move towards the outdoor reopening, that rules around outdoor spaces will be more relaxed, particularly given the vagaries of April weather.”

There are around 45000 pubs in England, with nearly half of them sporting an outdoor area of some kind.