Advice for businesses opening during COVID-19

Business recovery - use of outdoor areas

We will take an integrated approach to ensuring we create spaces for people and businesses. Wherever possible we will retain footways for pedestrians to travel safely. This may mean we have to create space on the carriageway to accommodate extra tables and chairs. We’re committed to working across our service areas to make sure businesses get the services they need. Our Spaces for people webpages have more details about the key points which would be used.

We have been working to streamline the application process for using outdoor spaces for tables and chairs. This is part of our drive to support Edinburgh’s economic recovery. Our aim is to help you safely make use of outside space, and so we have introduced a 4 step process

  1. Identify the area you wish to use to assist in your business recovery;
  2. Speak to your neighbours – are they content? Do they wish to use the space as well?
  3. Check whether you need a statutory permission – for example, a tables and chairs permit with guidance, an occasional licence to sell alcohol, permission to use the road or planning permission?
  4. Submit the form to [email protected] with a plan of the area and as much information as possible

You can also now apply for an occasional licence and tables and chairs permit using a single form, if you require both.

Once you have submitted form, our officers will get in touch to acknowledge receipt. They will work to have your application determined at the earliest opportunity. As a result we will be able to issue any approved permits or licences quickly so that businesses don’t encounter unnecessary delays and help your business recover.

We are supporting the hospitality sector to help it make the most of outdoor space safely as lockdown restrictions ease in late April.

We have agreed that fees will be waived for outdoor area occupation permits until 30 September 2021. The is to help hospitality businesses recover quicker. This measure will apply across the city and all Edinburgh hospitality businesses are eligible, provided they apply for and obtain the relevant road occupation permit. Where appropriate, kerbside parking charges will also be suspended to accommodate outdoor area occupation permits.