Cafes in Derry are to be offered a free licence for six months to trade on pavements outside their premises.
Derry City and Strabane District Council today approved a revised 'pavement cafe licensing scheme' as part of the council's efforts to support local businesses as they begin trading again after the coronavirus lockdown.
Cafe and other hospitality businesses are being allowed to reopen from July 3.
At the council's monthly meeting today, councillors heard that under the current COVID-19 restrictions premises currently permitted to serve food for takeaway are not permitted to allow food and drink to be consumed adjacent to their premises or provide seating.
However, a council spokesperson said that in advance of cafes, pubs and restaurants reopening, the council today approved the revised licensing scheme which would enable businesses to submit an application to operate a pavement cafe from July 3.
"Although a statutory 28 day consultation period is required for each application, Council will not enforce the regulations during the consultation period subject to no representations being received from DFI and/or PSNI," the council spokesperson said.
"If no objections are received during the consultation period a temporary pavement café licence will be issued for a period of six months.
"Members approved this temporary arrangement and also agreed to waive the licence fee to assist businesses recover from the pandemic situation and restore the local economy."
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