CHESHIRE West and Chester Council has announced that hospitality businesses will be able to apply for free al fresco dining licences.

The move comes ahead of pubs, restaurants, bars and cafés reopening on July 4 and has been introduced to help the recovery of such businesses.

This next phase of reopening after lockdown will see streets lined with tables and chairs, in a socially distanced way.

And the council says that al fresco dinning will be a welcome addition to our streets, which is why it wanted to make applying for a licence easier and free of charge during this summer.

Cllr Karen Shore, deputy council leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, said: “The scientists tell us that staying outside is a safer way to protect ourselves from Covid-19.

“I am delighted we can now prepare for the next phase of opening the high street.

“The past few months have been a challenge for everyone, and to help with the recovery from the pandemic, al fresco licences across the borough will be free of charge until further notice.

“If a licence has already been paid for it will be extended to cover the free period.”

READ >  Why Winsford beauty salon is desperate to reopen

Offering outdoor or al fresco dining to customers helps to increase seating capacity and provides an outside area in front of premises for customers.

To make an application, businesses will be asked for a site plan showing the location and dimensions of the area and its associated furniture, a valid insurance policy and a premises licence where applicable.

Businesses will not need to file an application if there is already a licence in place unless any changes need to be made, as the licence will automatically have the free period added on.

For more information or to apply, visit