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Covid Bill promotes pedestrianised streets

More pubs will be allowed to sell takeaway drinks and more streets pedestrianised to make way for outdoor markets, under new laws to be introduced in Parliament.

Nicknamed the “Covid Bill”, the changes will be fast-tracked through Parliament to help businesses including restaurants and pubs that will be allowed to reopen on July 4th.

The Business and Planning Bill introduces temporary changes to licensing laws allowing more restaurants and pubs to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises. Intended to aid social distancing, drinkers will be able to buy beverages in disposable glasses to enjoy on pavements or in local parks.

Under current rules, Restaurants and Pubs must specify a defined area in which they serve people, which does not include land designated for parking or other uses. The Bills temporary changes will increase the number of customers they can serve outdoors, as they will be able to utilise their car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas. 

A Government spokesman said the measures would be “the next step to enable people to socialise this summer, and enjoy the best of British hospitality in a Covid-secure way, helping businesses get back on their feet and employees to return to work.”

Outdoor markets are already back in operation following earlier changes to lockdown rules.

This Bill moves to encourage more outdoor trading during the coronavirus pandemic period with the planning laws being relaxed so that summer fares, car boot sales, and market stalls will not need to submit planning applications.

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