In the letter he said:
On 22 February the Prime Minister published a roadmap for easing the lockdown restrictions and set out that in step two, which will be no earlier than 12 April, hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors.
I am writing to you today to highlight the measures in place to support the safe re-opening of hospitality businesses and to urge you to do everything possible to help these businesses reopen safely and prosper again.
All of us in Government are looking forward to seeing pubs, cafes and restaurants open again, and, as Communities Secretary, I’m determined that we don’t let red tape to get in the way of a great British summer.
Last summer we introduced several measures to support hospitality businesses to reopen safely, enabling business across the country to continue to serve their local communities. The planning changes we put in place last year have been a lifeline to many businesses and they’re here to stay for the summer of 2021.
To that end, I am pleased to announce that we will be extending pavement licences for a further 12 months, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to continue to make al fresco dining a reality with outside seating, tables and street stalls to serve food and drinks. We are also continuing to support local communities hold popular outdoor events like summer fairs, car-boot sales, and markets, without the need for planning permission.