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From 12 April, shopping and outdoor dining welcomes you back

Westminster reopens

Safety measures are in place across Westminster, protecting you and others from coronavirus. From hand sanitising stations, widened pavements and social distancing signage on the shopping streets, to one-way systems, protector screens and face coverings being worn in shops – Westminster is safe and ready to welcome you back.

Always remember to follow all safety measures. Bring face coverings and follow social distancing measures to shop and dine as you protect yourself and others around you.

Check out quieter times to travel in the West End to help you plan your visit and have a safe day out.

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Al fresco dining

To protect yourself and others, please follow the safety measures put in place where you choose to dine.

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We want everyone in Westminster to enjoy shopping safely, so we all have to play our part. 

Shop safe

With all shops now open, please make sure you adhere to social distancing measures during your visit. Most shops have extended their opening times, making it easier for visitors to space out their trip and travel during the quieter times. Please remember that many shops will have one-way systems in place and face coverings must be worn when entering shops.

Our City Inspectors and COVID-19 marshals will also be on hand to offer any assistance and guidance to make sure residents, businesses and visitors feel safe.  

Find out about changes to shop opening times

Eat local

While indoor hospitality venues are expected to reopen from 17 May, venues with outdoor dining can provide services from 12 April.  

We are pleased to see the return of temporary measures to enable al fresco dining across Westminster until 30 September 2021.  Following the success of the scheme last year, and the overwhelming support it received from residents and businesses, the return of temporary measures further consolidates our commitment to do all we can to help the local economy, whilst always prioritising safety. 

To help us do this, please protect yourself and others by following the measures put in place by the hospitality venues you are visiting.  

This includes:

  • placing orders, eating and drinking while seated as venues will not be able to serve anyone who is not seated
  • wearing your face covering upon entering and leaving the venue, and visiting the toilet 

Please remember to book ahead so that venues can manage numbers and to avoid disappointment. 

Temporary al fresco schemes: road closures 

To support the reopening of hospitality businesses, we are introducing a range of measures to enable al fresco service.

Measures to support hospitality businesses, include barriers in parking spaces to extend pavements as well as some timed road closures.   

View details of which roads will be closed and where parking is suspended: 


Road closures will be in effect from 12 April to 30 September 2021 at the following times:  

  • Monday to Friday - 5pm to 11pm
  • Saturday - midday to 11pm  
  • Sunday and Bank Holidays - midday to 10.30pm 

This means, for example, service to customers will end at 10.30pm on a Monday and that all tables and chairs must be removed by 11pm.   

We recognise these interventions may cause a disruption to some residents and non-hospitality businesses. We will have a number of services working together to ensure any impact on local residents and businesses is kept to an absolute minimum.   

NHS Test and Trace

All outdoor hospitality venues and retailers are required to ask visitors to check in when arriving at a venue. This can be done by either downloading the NHS Test and Trace app and scanning an NHS QR code poster at the entrance or by providing contact details.

To avoid disappointment, you can download the app.

Check the latest government guidelines before you visit.