CAFES, restaurants and shops could use shared outdoor space, or areas outside vacant stores, as pavement cafes and takeaway stands.

City of York Council is encouraging business owners to get in touch to discuss options for al fresco trading.

Shop owners could use space on the pavement outside their property - but need to contact the council's highways team for permission first.

Cafe and restaurant owners also need to apply for a licence before putting tables and chairs outside.

Licensed businesses can now sell alcohol for drinking off premises - under temporary laws due to end on 30 September 2021. This means many restrictions, such as selling drinks in a sealed container, no longer apply.

Off sales can only be sold until 11pm.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for economy, said; “As our economy adapts to build back better, recent changes in licensing offer York’s hospitality businesses a great opportunity to expand their capacity to welcome more customers to enjoy the vibrant food and drink scene across the city."

“Colleagues across the council are working extremely hard to streamline these processes to help our city’s businesses reopen, recover and adapt. These changes make it easier for businesses to do just that, leaving them more time to do what they do best and offering customers more ways to enjoy the full range of local and independent shops which make York unique."

“We hope that visitors to the city centre will recognise the steps that businesses and attractions have taken, and to accept that there will be changes, but that these have been done with their safety in mind.”

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