Here's what dining out at a UK restaurant could be like when they reopen

Friday, 5th June 2020, 1:26 pm
Updated Friday, 5th June 2020, 1:27 pm
European-style dining may become more common in the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

Your next restaurant meal could be al fresco, as hospitality businesses consider outdoor dining as an option for safe reopening next month.

Bars and restaurants around the UK are currently drawing up plans for reopening in July, when it's expected they will be allowed to begin operating again.

These plans must include safety and hygiene measures to prevent transmission of coronavirus between customers and staff - and outdoor dining is being considered by many.

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Pedestrianising streets to make more space

Plans are developing around the country to pedestrianise city streets to allow space for seating - an idea borrowed from Lithuanian capital, Vilinus, where public space has been granted to bars and cafes for outdoor tables and chairs.

In London, Westminster Council has been asked to approve the temporary pedestrianisation of Soho, a usually bustling area of the city.

They have also been called upon to extend licences, allowing businesses to space out tables and chairs and serve until 11pm. Essential traffic - such as deliveries - would be restricted to certain hours in a day.

London's Southbank is also considering opening more space by the river, along with a few other popular spots in London.

Up north, Liverpool's mayor Joe Anderson is putting forward £450,000 to upgrade the city's outdoor spaces, adding outdoor covered seating for hospitality businesses and semi-pedestrianising certain streets.

Anderson told The Guardian, “We are bringing forward our plans for cycling and pedestrianisation and trying to reimagine the city. This is an opportunity to do something bold and help businesses comply with social distancing."

Liverpool isn't the only northern city considering action to save its hospitality businesses.

In Greater Manchester, Deansgate and parts of the popular Northern Quarter have already been pedestrianised, with hopes of outdoor seating for drinking and dining in the near future.

The idea has also gained some traction in central government, with the housing and local government minister Robert Jenrick said to be considering blanket permission for pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants to make use of pedestrianised areas for outdoor seating.