U.K. Plans to Allow Cafes to Use Sidewalks More for Year Longer


Cafes and restaurants in the U.K. will be able to make greater use of sidewalk space for another year as part of the government plan to support the industry.

Temporary rules making it easier for restaurants to use street space for outdoor seating will be extended to the end of September 2022, according to a letter to local council leaders from Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.

“Given the continuing importance of the outdoors to reduce transmission of the virus, I strongly encourage you to plan for outdoor dining and make all necessary changes to local high streets, squares and the public realm so this is as convenient as possible for businesses and members of the public,” Jenrick wrote in the March 5 letter, which was posted on his department’s website on Monday.

The extension to rules set to expire Sept. 30 adds to a slew of measures to prop up the hospitality industry as the government begins to open the economy following three national lockdowns. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak last week extended support measures including furlough, a business rates holiday and a reduced sales tax rate, until the end of September.

Meanwhile, schools were back in session on Monday in the first step of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s four-stage plan for reopening. Eating and drinking spots will resume outdoor service on April 12.

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