Pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants can now apply for pavement licences ahead of April 12. 

From today, hospitality businesses in Wiltshire can apply to the council for a temporary pavement licence. 

The licence will allow any eligible business to serve food and drink to patrons on tables and chairs outside their premises. 

April 12 is the earliest date that outdoor hospitality venues can open their doors to the public, according to the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. 

The licences are free of charge and will be valid for a year once granted.

A council spokesman said: “However, they are subject to a statutory notice period of ten working days, during which time people will have an opportunity to comment on the application. 

“Any business that successfully applied for a licence at an earlier point in the pandemic should check the expiry date on their licence and may need to reapply if the expiration date is close.

“The council also requires any business that may have furniture on the highway without a licence to contact them, as will help to keep pavements and highways safe and avoid requests for removal.”

Cabinet member for highways, Bridget Wayman said: “We could charge for this service, but we are offering the licences free of charge as we want to do all we can to support Wiltshire businesses. 

“I would urge all eligible businesses to apply as soon as possible so they can take advantage of the opportunity to trade again safely.

“Any business that had a temporary pavement licence issued previously during the pandemic may need to check the end date of their existing licence and apply again, but we will do all we can to fast track these applications to ensure there is no gap in the time they hold a valid licence.”

“We know how important it is to give businesses every opportunity to succeed during what has been a difficult time, and once these venues are able to reopen, these licences will enable traders to accommodate customers outside safely.”

For more information and to apply for a temporary pavement licence click here.