Pubs in England will be allowed to use car parks as makeshift beer gardens from April

Friday, 5th March 2021, 1:01 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 1:01 pm
The licensing process has been simplified to allow more hospitality businesses to open (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Pubs with limited or no outdoor seating will be permitted to use car parks and other outdoor space to open in April, the Government has confirmed.

Many in England are eagerly anticipating the reopening of pubs on 12 April, which will be permitted to serve alcohol outdoors only from this date.

Of course, not every pub features a spacious beer garden, so the Government is allowing hospitality venues to make temporary use of other outdoor spaces, such as car parks, in order to serve customers.

The move is a continuation of a simplified licensing process introduced last summer, which made it quicker and cheaper for hospitality businesses to apply for extended outdoor seating under their current seating licenses.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has now confirmed that this process will stay in place for the 12 April reopening date.

The return of takeaway pints

Temporary changes will also be introduced which allow licensed premises to sell alcohol for takeaway purposes, meaning people can buy drinks at a pub and take them to drink elsewhere.

Speaking when the move was announced in June 2020, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "I know we all look forward to seeing our pubs, cafes and restaurants open their doors again and I'm determined to give them a helping hand to get back on their feet and their staff back to work safely."

Under the current roadmap announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in February, indoor hospitality will be able to return in England from 17 May, with a maximum of six people to a table indoors.

From this date, the number of people permitted to meet outdoors will also rise from six to a maximum of 30. This rule will also apply to public places, meaning up to 30 people will be permitted to meet outdoors in parks.

Indoors, however, household mixing will be limited to six people. By June, the Government has said it expects most restrictions on everyday life to be lifted.