Coronavirus Guidance for Employers - Click Here

New Plans to Ensure Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes Offer Both Smoking and Non-Smoking Outdoor Options

People using pubs, restaurants and cafes will soon have greater freedom to choose non-smoking outdoor areas following an amendment tabled today to legislation in Parliament.

  • Pubs, cafes and restaurants to offer choices for smokers and non-smokers as part of new bill
  • Plans will help premises reassure all customers that they are open for businesses

People using pubs, restaurants and cafes will soon have greater freedom to choose non-smoking outdoor areas following an amendment tabled today to legislation in Parliament.

Under the Business and Planning Bill, the Government had already set out a range of measures to help these vital businesses safely reopen and get staff back to work by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to operate outside.

The Government will not ban outdoor smoking. Since the existing ban was introduced, businesses have invested heavily in their outdoor areas and banning outdoor smoking would lead to significant closures and job losses. However, today’s amendment will ensure that customers are given more choice by ensuring premises offer separate seating for smokers and non-smokers outside.

Laws already exist making it illegal to smoke in enclosed areas and business owners can already make their own non-smoking policies in places where food is served.

The changes in the amendment will help strike the right balance between protecting public health and not imposing additional red tape on businesses at a time when they need as much support as possible. The Government will not ban outdoor smoking in pubs, cafes or restaurants.

Businesses can already make their own non-smoking policies for outside space without the need for regulations. This guidance will reinforce this point, making it clear that the licence-holder has to make reasonable provision for smoke-free seating.

It includes:

  • Clear ‘no smoking’ signage displayed in designated areas.
  • No ash trays or similar receptacles to be provided or permitted to be left on furniture where a smoke-free seating is identified.
  • Licence holders should aim for a minimum 2 metre distance between non-smoking and smoking areas, wherever possible.