On 31st July the Council’s Cabinet Members for City Services and Policing and Equalities approved a new temporary policy that will enable restaurants and other hospitality venues to increase the availability of seating and tables on the highway outside venues in the city, whilst maintaining social distancing.
On Saturday 4 July pubs, bars and restaurants were permitted to reopen as long they had clear safety procedures in place to restrict the spread of Covid-19.
A new Business and Planning Bill 2019-21 is expected to be passed in parliament making it easier for premises serving food and drink such as bars, restaurants and pubs, to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing, as lockdown restrictions are lifted but social distancing guidelines remain in place.
The Bill proposes a temporary fast-track process for these businesses to obtain permission, in the form of a Pavement Licence. The licence will allow businesses to increase the numbers of customers who visit venues.
The Bill proposes a cap of £100 on the application fee for a Pavement Licence but in Coventry they will be granted for free.
The licences will include conditions that protect the public and ensure that nuisance and antisocial behaviour is prevented.
The Council’s licensing team is in contact with businesses and is offering to arrange to visit licensed premises and food businesses who need help with complying with the new guidance. Premises are legally required complete a Risk Assessment which takes COVID-19 into account.
Trish Willetts, Director at Coventry Business Improvement District (BID), ho recently addressed the Coventry Society commented: “We very much welcome this news and Coventry BID is fully supportive. It’s fantastic to see Coventry proactively working on real-time solutions to not only support our city businesses as they reopen, but also create beautiful outside eating and drinking zones for us all to enjoy.
“This is just another example of Coventry showing the rest of the UK how reopening after Covid should be done.”
The licenses are temporary and will normally run until 30 September 2021.