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people eating and drinking in soho outside
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Eating on the street to continue as alfresco licences extended until 2022

You'll be dining on the pavements of London for another year at least

Written by
Leonie Cooper
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Seeing as the hospitality industry has had such a godawful time over it over the past year, the government has gone and done it a solid by extending alfresco dining licences until September 2022. 

That’s an extra year of eating in the street, a move that helped to save many of the beleaguered restaurants of Soho following lockdown closures as well as social distancing regulations put in place to stop the spread of covid, which cut into many establishments' regular capacities.

Though the need for social distancing ends on July 19, venues have been given an extra 13 months of pavement licences and it is rumoured that alfresco dining might be made a permanent fixture. However, this would require official legislation from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, reports The Guardian

The extension also includes pubs, which will be given 12 more months to operate as temporary off-licences, meaning they’re allowed to sell takeaway pints and meals.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will also be looking at ways to recruit new people into the hospitality industry. Even though 350,000 jobs have been lost since the start of the pandemic, many restaurants and pubs have found themselves understaffed as the country comes out of lockdown.

Your fave local is also probably getting a look-in, with a new £150m fund which plans to help communities save pubs at risk of closure. Under a new scheme, the government will match crowdfunded investments up to a maximum of £250,000 to help out threatened pubs. 

These are London's best outdoor dining spots

This interactive map app helps you find the best alfresco spots for drinking and eating  

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