AS the date when many hospitality businesses can reopen with limitations, Shropshire Council wants people to not go too far.

The prospect of being able to serve customers again from Monday, April 12 offers a lifeline and hope to many businesses but there will be complications.

Hospitality businesses in Shropshire are being encouraged to work with the council to make sure their temporary outdoor seating areas don’t fall foul of Covid-19-secure rules and help protect customers and staff.

Under the Government’s roadmap out of the third lockdown, venues such as pubs, cafes and restaurants could be permitted to reopen from Monday, April 12. If all is going well and these businesses get the green light to open, they will have to serve customers who are seated at tables in outdoor spaces. Customers must remain in their household group or bubble.

As hospitality businesses prepare to reopen, they are looking for ways to increase seating for their customers and many are setting up marquees, gazebos and other structures in order to provide outdoor seating space with adequate social distancing.

The council encourages hospitality businesses to use this time to consider carefully what outdoor areas they may wish to use, and how this will be achieved. It will be achieved either through the council’s temporary pavement licence and/or the permanent pavement permit regimes to use space on the highway, or making use of privately-owned land such as pub car parks.

One of the greatest risks that businesses face is that the structures they put in place become too enclosed and the outdoor space is then no longer considered an actual outside space.