Al freso dining will help spearhead regeneration of nations high street, says MP

Paul Scully grilled by Nick Ferrari over small business figures

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Measures allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes to make use of al fresco dining during the pandemic will become permanent under the new measures. Paul Scully told the Daily Express the hospitality sector is key to stimulating local economies as the country emerges from the pandemic.

Al fresco dining is among a raft of measures aimed at helping venues to survive in the long term.

Takeaway pints will continue for another year and pavement licences are to be extended and made permanent in England and Wales to allow more customers to eat outside.

With the country sizzling in a heatwave ahead of a summer staycation boom, Mr Scully said people should get out and take advantage of local pubs, cafes and restaurants.

He said: “That is my main message, for people to get back into towns and cities and enjoy what is there before the queues start to form. Once you’re there, have a pint, have a great meal, go to the cafe. These hospitality places are absolutely there for people to give them a warm, very much a safe, welcome.”

Other new measures will tackle the sector’s chronic labour shortage. Frontline staff at the Department for Work and Pensions will highlight vacancies and raise the profile of hospitality jobs.

Mr Scully said: “We want young people to see the hospitality sector as a go-to option for long-term careers, and that’s why we will explore new options for vocational training.”

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