Ministers are expected to introduce a new bill in parliament today to temporarily change licensing laws on al fresco dining.

The legislation will grant fast-track approval to allow pubs, bars and restaurants to convert car parks and terraces into temporary beer gardens, and some sites will be able to set up tables and chairs on pavements to serve customers.

The present 28-day consultation period will be reduced to five days, and every venue with an alcohol license will be given permission to sell beer and wine for people to drink on the street.

It is hoped that the new law will come into force as early as next month, to coincide with the proposed reopening of the industry.

Other changes under the bill will see outdoor markets, car boot sales and summer fairs able to operate without planning applications, and a relaxation in Sunday trading laws.

Topics