SMOKING could be banned outside pubs, restaurants and cafes in the UK under a new proposed law.
The proposal comes as part a new social distancing measure, and acts as an exchange for permission to serve 'pavement drinks'.
The potential legislation will see pubs, restaurants and cafes allowed to expand onto the pavement and possibly the even the street in order to fit more customers in while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.
There will be a temporary relaxation of licensing laws to encourage more alfresco-style eating, though it could come at a cost to smokers nationwide.
Such a proposal is deemed necessary in order to try and jump-start the economy back into life, and particularly the hospitality sector, which has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19.
The proposal, if granted, will initially only apply in England, because the likes of Northern Ireland, Scotland Wales have devolved health laws.
Pressure could mount on all governments to introduce the smoking ban however if the legislation is deemed to work in England.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government said: "We are helping our pubs, cafes and restaurants return to work safely by making it quicker, easier and cheaper for them to set up outdoor seating and street stalls in order to serve food and drink.
"Councils will be able to set local conditions for licenses. As set out in supporting guidance, councils should consider public health when setting these conditions."