Al fresco dining to become the norm in Britain, Boris Johnson says

Al fresco dining is to become the norm on British high streets, with businesses given an extension to their pavement licences beyond the Covid pandemic, Boris Johnson will announce this week.

The Prime Minister will set out his “levelling up” plan for the UK, which will make it easier for business to operate outdoor dining by allowing them to place chairs and tables out the front of their premises.

Pavement licences were introduced to expand outdoor seating capacity for pubs and restaurants during the pandemic and were due to expire in September. They will now be extended and then made permanent.

This week’s plans will also extend licenses for pubs to serve takeaway pints for another year in an attempt to boost outdoor hospitality sales over the summer.

It will also commit the Government to spending £25 million on local football teams, to encourage fans into grassroots sport.

In a speech this week, Mr Johnson will set out the core strategy for “levelling up” – Downing Street’s slogan for its strategy to improve underfunded towns and high streets.

The move will make it easier for restaurants to to set up chairs and tables outside their premises

It is understood that Mr Johnson will emphasise the difference between his handling of the pandemic and the rebuilding of the economy after the 2008 financial crash.

A White Paper to be laid before Parliament in the Autumn will set out further plans to address intergenerational and regional inequality and weak infrastructure in some parts of the UK.

The Government has already announced a £4.8 billion “levelling up fund,” which is to be used for infrastructure development.

A government spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister is determined to level up the UK and deliver a fairer, stronger society – one where whatever your background and wherever you live, everyone can access the opportunities they need to succeed.

"While talent and potential is distributed evenly across this country, opportunity is not.

“That’s why as we emerge from the pandemic, it’s vital that we do not make the mistakes of recovery from the financial crash and seize this moment to ensure a better quality of life for people in every part of the UK.”

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