Liverpool’s cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars are being urged to make sure they have a pavement licence if they are planning to reopen on Monday 12 April.

Government guidelines are expected to be relaxed next month, allowing hospitality venues to serve food and drink to customers sitting outside.

Liverpool City Council is encouraging those businesses looking to welcome back customers by bringing tables and chairs on to the pavement outside their premises to apply as soon as possible for a pavement licence which will allow them to operate in this way.

Those which currently hold a pavement licence do not need to reapply yet, as theirs will remain valid until 30 September 2021.

If there is enough outdoor space on the pavement outside the premises and the business can meet a number of conditions, including ensuring Covid-safe measures are in place, permission is likely be given to place tables and chairs outside.

Following the first lockdown last year, the city council issued more than 160 licences to venues across the city, allowing them to reopen their doors to customers once again.

Due to the time taken to process the licences, any business looking to trade from the 12 April must submit an application by 5pm Wednesday 24 March. Anything received after this date will not be processed in time which means businesses will only be able to open after the 12 April. If you do apply after Wednesday 24 March, please note that it takes at least 10 working days for your application to be processed.

Enforcement action could be taken against any business that places furniture on the pavement without having been issued a pavement licence.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Councillor Sharon Connor, said:

“We know the hospitality sector is eager to welcome back customers and it was a relief for many that the 12 April is a date they can aim for to get their businesses up and running again.

“This sector play a hugely important role in our economy and we want to do everything we can to help businesses reopen their doors.

“Quite simply, pavement licences are essential. Any business that does not currently have one but wants to offer that outdoor experience to their customers, must have one in place.

“It takes time for our team to process the applications which is why we are asking businesses to apply now and don’t miss the deadline – we want to see as many of our amazing bars, restaurants cafes and pubs back in business from the 12 April.”

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