Coronavirus: Government to tear up red tape to allow more outdoor drinking and dining

A bonfire of red tape is being unveiled by Boris Johnson in a move to help the economy to recover from coronavirus and the nation to enjoy the summer sunshine outdoors.

On the day temperatures are set to soar to a record 34C – hotter than the Caribbean and Morocco – the government is publishing new legislation sweeping away dozens of planning regulations.

The result will be more food and alcohol on sale outdoors, more outdoor markets, car boot sales and summer fairs, all allowed without the burden of restrictive planning and licensing laws.

A Business and Planning Bill, packed with deregulation proposals, is being introduced in the Commons, with ministers claiming it will help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs safely.

Publication of the Bill follows the prime minister’s dramatic easing of the lockdown announced on Tuesday, when he urged Britons to “get out and enjoy themselves” when businesses re-open on 4 July.

At the heart of the legislation are measures to introduce outdoor dining in England this summer to help the economy bounce back from coronavirus, the government claims.

The aim is that more pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to serve customers outside, thanks to plans to simplify licensing processes and cut red tape.

“We are taking steps in this Bill to increase outdoor street trading and outdoor markets,” said a government source.

“We are working with councils across England to pedestrianise areas, and proposed planning freedoms will mean that outdoor markets, pop-up car-boot sales and summer fairs will not need a planning application, transforming the way people currently shop and socialise.”

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