19 street markets and pub tents could be open all year round to encourage hospitality

Monday, September 6, 2021

Outdoor marquees and seating, introduced during the pandemic of pubs, cafés, and restaurants, might become permanent under the government's plans, but the hospitality sector says that won't be enough to survive or thrive.

Extra outdoor seating for cafes and restaurants would also be part of a new government consultation that would see restaurants forced to increase outdoor capacity earlier in the year in a bid to return people to service after the closure.

The proposal received praise from the hospitality industry but it urged the government to go further and keep up street food in cities and reform business rates.

One example is Westminster where the streets around Soho are soon to re-open after being blocked-off to create an extensive outdoor seating space.

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

Housing Minister Robert Jenrick said: 'The simple reforms we made during the pandemic to help hospitality businesses, markets and historic visitor attractions make use of outdoor spaces more easily, made a massive impact.

The hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, with revenues falling by 25 per cent in May 2021 compared with May 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics.