Fast-track use of outdoor space for the hospitality sector

We've published our plan to help the hospitality sector re-open safely from July 2020. 

We also understand that businesses will have limited capacity due to social distancing. Therefore, we are introducing temporary measures to help businesses apply for a fast-track licence to use outdoor space for tables and chairs, and sell alcohol using a Temporary Event Notice.

Read the full details of our plan to enable to use of outdoor spaces for the hospitality sector (PDF, 213KB)

Advice for pubs, bars and restaurants on how to safely re-open (PDF, 145KB)

Advice for businesses on street furniture, licensing, advertising and waste when reopening and operating outdoor dining (PDF, 1MB)

1. Apply for a Temporary Event Notice

We support the use of Temporary Event Notices (TENs) to allow businesses to sell alcohol only to customers within the outside space, as long as those customers are seated at the tables

Businesses who already have a premises licence that permits them to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises will generally be able to provide alcohol for customers using outside tables and chairs.

However, if your business doesn’t permit the sale of alcohol off the premises then alcohol cannot be served to customers at the new tables and chairs area.

TENs costs £21 each and applications must be made at least 5 working days before the first day alcohol is required. 

Apply for a TEN

TENs submitted that include regulated entertainment in outside spaces (for example playing music) are likely to be opposed and this could lead to delays.

You must apply for a TEN by Friday 26 June to use it on 4 July 2020.


We anticipate that the government will provide some relaxations to the provision of alcohol off the premises via upcoming emergency legislation.  Therefore, the approach we are taking will provide a way for businesses to use outside spaces until any legislative relaxations are enacted.

2. Apply for a tables and chairs licence

Apply for a licence to use tables and chairs outdoors

A special fee of £100 will be required for our new fast-track scheme.  Applications will generally be granted within 5 working days if they meet the requirements. The licence, if granted will be for a period of up to 3 months

Fast-track applications must include:

  • how the temporary tables and chair section will operate
  • how the risk of potential local nuisance will be managed
  • A COVID-19 risk assessment demonstrating that the premises is COVID-19 secure before reopening 

The following are not allowed via the fast-track scheme:

  • applications for hours outside of 11am to 11pm
  • space heaters and amplifiers for music will not be permitted

Businesses can apply for an extension of the licence at the end of the 3 month period.

3. Contact

If you need advice or have questions relating to this contact the licensing service on 020 7641 4141 at

Last updated: 3 July 2020