Belfast City Council have been accepting applications for pavement cafe licences since Monday 22 June 2020.
This recent announcement will be seen as a welcome boost to the hospitality sector and will help Belfast city centre bounce back after lockdown as the indoor operation of bars, restaurants and cafes will be constrained by social distancing.
This is in addition to the announcement last month that the Department for Infrastructure plans to pedestrianise Hill Street and Gordon Street in the Cathedral Quarter.
It is understood that local councils are being encouraged to take a flexible and pragmatic approach to cafes, restaurants and bars that will be seeking such licences for on-street seating in order to comply with social distancing measures.
Other councils are considering taking a similar approach. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is to temporarily relax controls on pavement cafes so that local businesses can use public spaces within
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