Pubs with no beer gardens in England may still open on April 12 due to 'loophole'

8 March 2021, 08:43

Drinking may be allowed in pub car parks from April 12
Drinking may be allowed in pub car parks from April 12. Picture: PA Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Under Boris Johnson's 'roadmap to freedom', hospitality venues will hopefully be allowed to serve customers outdoors from April 12.

Pubs and restaurants which don’t have gardens could still be allowed to serve customers next month, it has been reported.

Hospitality venues in England will hopefully be opening their doors on April 12, but only for outdoor service.

Now it has been suggested that landlords who don’t have access to beer gardens will be allowed to turn outside spaces – such as car parks – into drinking and dining areas.

The idea was put forward after the first lockdown last June, and according to the Daily Star, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed the same rules will apply.

Pubs without beer gardens will be allowed to let customers enjoy a drink in their car parks
Pubs without beer gardens will be allowed to let customers enjoy a drink in their car parks. Picture: PA Images

Speaking when the policy was first announced, 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.

Read More: Full list of things you can and can't do from today in England under Boris Johnson’s roadmap

“That’s why we are introducing changes to make it quicker, easier and cheaper for them to set up outdoor seating and street stalls to serve food and drink.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma added: "Our pubs, restaurants and cafes are the lifeblood of high streets and town centres across the country and we are doing all we can to ensure they can bounce back as quickly and safely as possible.”

Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown, it's hoped pubs and restaurants will open from April 12 with the rule of six in place.

Non-essential shops, hairdressers and beauty salons will also open their doors on the same day.

If all continues going to plan with the vaccine rollout, businesses will be able to welcome customers indoors for drinking and dining from May 17, with people from two households.

This comes after Rishi Sunak extended a VAT cut for the hospitality industry.

Detailing this in his Budget, the Chancellor confirmed the 5% reduced rate of VAT will be extended for six months to September 30.

And the standard rate won't be returned to until April next year, with an interim rate of 12.5% for another six months after September.

Mr Sunak previously reduced VAT from 20% to 5% for food, drink and holiday businesses as part of his mini-Budget on July 8 last year.

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