Minister urges LAs to be proportionate and consistent as hospitality reopens

19, April 2021

A letter from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, to local authorities (LAs) on 15 April explains how they should apply measures for reopening outdoor hospitality safely.

The letter clarifies that: “To support these businesses to reopen safely, the government legislated to enable them to set up outdoor shelters and marquees without planning permissions … In line with the existing rules for outdoor smoking areas – shelters, marquees and other structures erected by hospitality and other businesses can have a roof, but need to have at least half of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use.

The letter continues to encourage “you all to ensure that this guidance is applied proportionately and consistently in your areas to support businesses to reopen safely and to avoid overzealous interpretations of the rules. It is in the public interest that local residents can socialise in a licensed and controlled environment outside, where Covid-19 risks are lower.”

The full text of the Minister’s letter can be read here.

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