Pubs will be allowed to install marquees in beer gardens for the entire summer instead of 28 days currently allowed, without planning permission, the government has announced.

The £56m Welcome Back Fund aims to help councils increase tourism, improve green spaces and provide more outdoor seating areas.

Part of the funding will be allocated specifically to support coastal areas, with funding going to all coastal resorts across England to safely welcome holiday makers in the coming months.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin described the marquee plans as “Downing Street PR” and “entirely barking”.

He said that normal pub safety features and controls, such as visibility of customers from the bar, CCTV, proximity to lavatories and comfortable seating would all be lost under the plan.

Martin said: “One crazy aspect of the proposals is that the government itself has banned indoor drinking in pubs. Now it’s permitting indoor drinking outside pubs in marquees.

“Less than half the UK’s pubs will be open in April. If the weather’s good, up to 100% of UK customers, deprived of a pint for yonks, may head towards those which are open - except that 80% of the space at the ‘open’ pubs, that which is indoors, will be shut. What could possibly go wrong?”