The City of London Corporation has agreed to maintain efforts to help the hospitality sector by offering pavement licences free of charge for an additional year.
In July last year, the Planning and Transportation Committee agreed a bespoke approach to pavement licences to maintain public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
The measures will now be extended until the end of September 2022 for suitable premises, but they may need to be revised as pedestrian numbers increase.
The Al Fresco Eating and Drinking Policy has proved popular with Square Mile establishments with 87 licences currently live, all of which are expected to reapply for the extension.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Alastair Moss, said: “With almost all legal restrictions now lifted across England, we are welcoming Londoners and visitors back into the City to work, study, visit and dine.
“We expect the buzz of the City will swiftly return and these free of charge pavement licences mean visitors to many of our dining establishments will be able to enjoy the great British weather while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of the Square Mile.
“We know many Londoners are desperate to see friends and loved ones once again and I can think of no better option than taking advantage of the brilliant dining options across the Square Mile.”
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Licencing Committee, Sophie Fernandes, said: “By refreshing our Al Fresco Eating and Drinking Policy we are further supporting our hospitality premises as they look to recover from many months of hardship and uncertainty.
“This decision is allowing the hospitality sector to profitably re-open while best ensuring safety and comfort for those who live, work and visit the City.”
Most COVID-19 legal restrictions were lifted 19 July. There is now no limit on how many people can meet, nightclubs have reopened, and table service is no longer necessary at pubs and restaurants. Face coverings will still be recommended in some places.