Westminster City Council is extending the temporary measures it put in place to enable al fresco dining and hospitality across the city, including the West End, until the end of October.
The scheme had been set to conclude at the end of this month but will now continue in its current form until 31 October. The measures are a key element of the council’s support for the hospitality sector and the extension follows engagement with nearly 1,400 residents and businesses that showed overwhelming support. The council has pledged to do all it can to help the local economy, whilst always prioritising safety.
Throughout the extension the council will continue to work with the community to ensure the hospitality industry remain good neighbours and compliant with all of the updated regulations, such as the 10pm closing for bars, pubs and restaurants from Thursday.
Westminster City Council Leader Rachael Robathan said:
“This popular scheme has been a lifeline for the hospitality sector. We recognise the importance of our business community as being key to the successful economic life of the city. We’re working closely with our residents to support local businesses, the backbone of our communities, and will continue to do all we can to help them.
“That’s why we have decided to allow the extension of the schemes that we have in place to support al fresco hospitality for all businesses that wish to continue using them until end of October. We will always put the health of our residents and visitors first whilst doing everything possible to support our city through these very challenging times.
“We will keep working with residents, businesses and other key partners to identify local schemes that could benefit specific locations at certain times throughout the year in a safe manner. This could include supporting events such as Christmas fairs or al fresco dining at certain times where it suits an area and enjoys local support.”
The measures to support al fresco hospitality were introduced at the start of July and have been popular with businesses and the public, creating more space for businesses to serve the public safely and helping the West End’s struggling hospitality sector to reopen.
There are currently measures installed at over 50 locations across Westminster creating a café culture in some of the country's most famous districts including Soho, Covent Garden, and Chinatown. Each scheme has been closely monitored and where individual measures haven’t worked they have been changed quickly.