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Mon 20th Jul 2020 - New plans tabled to ensure pubs, restaurants and cafes offer both smoking and non-smoking outdoor options
New plans tabled to ensure pubs, restaurants and cafes offer both smoking and non-smoking outdoor options: People using pubs, restaurants and cafes will soon have greater freedom to choose non-smoking outdoor areas following an amendment tabled today to legislation in Parliament. Under the Business and Planning Bill, the government had already set out a range of measures to help these businesses safely reopen and get staff back to work by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to operate outside. But the government will not ban outdoor smoking. Since the existing ban was introduced, businesses have invested heavily in their outdoor areas and banning outdoor smoking would lead to significant closures and job losses. Today’s amendment will ensure that customers are given more choice by ensuring premises offer separate seating for smokers and non-smokers outside. Laws already exist making it illegal to smoke in enclosed areas and business owners can already make their own non-smoking policies in places where food is served. Planning Minister Christopher Pincher MP said: “We are supporting our pubs, cafes and restaurants to safely reopen and securing jobs by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to set up outdoor seating and stalls to serve food and drink, whilst protecting public health against the transmission of covid. These changes will allow everyone to enjoy outdoor eating and drinking whether they smoke or not, with appropriate provisions made for non-smokers and smokers. The changes in the amendment will help strike the right balance between protecting public health and not imposing additional red tape on businesses at a time when they need as much support as possible. The government will not ban outdoor smoking in pubs, cafes or restaurants. Businesses can already make their own non-smoking policies for outside space without the need for regulations. This guidance will reinforce this point, making it clear that the licence-holder has to make reasonable provision for smoke-free seating. It includes: Clear ‘no smoking’ signage displayed in designated areas; No ash trays or similar receptacles to be provided or permitted to be left on furniture where a smoke-free seating is identified; Licence holders should aim for a minimum two metre distance between non-smoking and smoking areas, wherever possible.”

New report sets out the road to sector recovery: A new report from CGA and UKHospitality reveals the scale of covid-19’s impact and what hospitality can do to reclaim sales. Consumers are returning cautiously to hospitality, but rigorous safety measures, industry collaboration and government support can speed the sector along the road to recovery. Those are among the messages from a special new edition in the Future Shock series of reports from CGA and UKHospitality. It presents the most detailed picture yet of the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on hospitality, and identifies what the industry can do to recover sales and consumer confidence. The report pools CGA and UKHospitality’s latest data from the industry, highlighting that the hospitality sector accounted for a third of the UK’s entire drop in GDP in March and April, and that only one in six (16%) leaders are optimistic about the prospects of the market in the next 12 months. It also outlines the size of the challenge to bring people back to hospitality, with a quarter (23%) of consumers only returning to venues with caution, and a third (33%) only doing so if they are sure that added precautions were in place. But the report also identifies green shoots of recovery, and celebrates the success of UKHospitality’s efforts to lobby for government support for the sector. It uses insights from CGA’s research in China and the US to predict crucial changes in consumer habits that are likely to shape the hospitality market in the next few months. They include an increasing desire to use local venues rather than travel to city centres, a new preference for booking ahead, and an emerging polarisation between the value and premium ends of the market. Karl Chessell, business unit director, retail and food at CGA, said: “The last four months has been the most difficult period of trading that most of us in the industry have ever seen. CGA’s data shows how the pandemic caused a sudden and dramatic downturn in sales and had a seismic effect on consumer behaviour, and the big question now is how quickly the market can recover. There are clearly many tough challenges ahead, but with the backing of consumers and the right support from government, businesses can not just survive the pandemic but thrive in the happier times that lie ahead.” Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UKHospitality, added: “There is still a huge amount of graft to be done if we are to make it through this crisis in one piece, but if any sector can emerge stronger it is hospitality. We have pushed – and will continue to push – hard to persuade UK governments to provide as much support as possible to keep businesses afloat and jobs secure, and have done everything we can to help pave the way for recovery. We have all faced up to some difficult truths and learned some valuable lessons, and we’re pleased to be able to share much of that insight and expertise in this edition of Future Shock.”

Time Out founder Tony Elliott passes away: Time Out founder Tony Elliott has passed away. Peter Dubens, chairman of Time Out said: “We are saddened by the loss of such a great visionary, entrepreneur and supporter of culture and the arts. We have been lucky enough to work alongside Tony for the last ten years, partnering with him to inspire audiences in 327 cities throughout the world. In 1968 Tony set out to reveal the best of a city to his readers, helping them discover its restaurants, art, theatre, film, museums and much more. Time Out may have since grown from magazines to digital media and latterly physical markets, but it has continued to focus on Tony’s mission to unlock the secrets of a city and unearth local champions. He will be missed by the whole team at Time Out.”

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