Smokers will NOT be banned from lighting up outside pubs and restaurants, Government declares

SMOKERS will not be banned from lighting up outside pubs and restaurants, the government has declared.

Earlier this week a cross party group of peers had applied pressure to the government as more people were enjoying “pavement drinks” following the reopening of venues after lockdown.

Lib Dem Baroness Northover said lockdown rules – which allow more freedoms to serve booze to be consumed on the street – should “not allow this to become an excuse for increasing smoking in public places.”

But last night the government said they “will not ban outdoor smoking.”

An MHCLG spokesperson said: “Since the existing ban was introduced businesses have invested heavily in their outdoor areas.

"Banning outdoor smoking would lead to significant closures and job losses.

“Businesses should look at ways they can accommodate both smokers and non-smokers, while smokers should exercise public responsibility and be considerate.

“We are helping our pubs, cafes and restaurants safely reopen.

"And securing jobs by making it quicker, easier and cheaper to operate outside.

The Government’s priority is protecting public health against the transmission of the Covid virus, whilst ensuring the venues remain open and be economically sustainable.

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