These are the outdoor hospitality measures the Government plans to extend under new plans

Street markets could open all year round under Government plans to make permanent some of the changes for outdoor hospitality introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 12:05 am
The hospitality sector welcomed the plans to extend some outdoor regulations. Picture: Mark Case/Getty Images.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants would also be able to keep new structures such as marquees and additional seating on their grounds, following a consultation launched on Sunday, September 5.

The hospitality sector welcomed the plans, but urged ministers to go further to promote and retain outdoor seating in the streets by restricting traffic in town and city centres.

The consultation will consider only some of the changes introduced during the pandemic in order to promote customers dining outdoors to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

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But an announcement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government did not include the al fresco dining on streets, with councils starting to wrap up the relaxations.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The proposal to make outdoor measures permanent is a welcome boost for the hospitality sector, its customers and local communities.

“It has provided a vital lifeline to venues all over the country during an extraordinarily difficult period and allowing operators to provide extra outside seating has been a key driver of survival and recovery since reopening.”

But she added that businesses “face huge hurdles going into the autumn and winter” and that measures such as more outdoor seating would help secure the sector’s recovery.

The plans include supporting communities to hold outdoor markets by giving powers to local councils to grant them for an unlimited number of days.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said reforms made during the pandemic “made a massive impact” – and that the Government intends to make as many of these measures as possible permanent.

But Labour’s shadow communities secretary Steve Reed criticised the Conservatives for “undermining” the high street and leaving “British businesses behind”, by blocking them out when they should have been listened to.

“Measures to help businesses recover after the pandemic are welcome but this is a Conservative Government which is undermining the high street by allowing retail spaces to be turned into low quality housing and failing to level the playing field between bricks and mortar businesses and online retailers,” he said.

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