National lockdown: Stay at Home restrictions. More information.

London moved into Tier 3: Very High Alert on Wednesday 16 December. Cases of coronavirus are rising across London. It’s vital that we all play our part in limiting the spread of coronavirus.

Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs.

Supporting the hospitality sector to bounce back

Westminster City Council has approved, in principle, over 40 winter al fresco hospitality schemes that can begin operating safely under Tier 2: High Alert restrictions from 2 December.

Under Tier 2 restrictions, commencing on 2 December, hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. Please download our guidance below, or visit our Tier 2 guidance webpage to find out more.

The Council has published an updated guide that sets out the details of the wide range of support available to the hospitality sector over the winter months. This includes information on:

  • The approved 'winter appropriate’ schemes to support al fresco hospitality for the next six months
  • Advice on operating safely as soon as national and local guidelines allow from 2 December
  • Guidance on serving substantial meals
  • The council’s support for heaters and umbrellas over the winter and the associated application process.
  • The process for permitting outside tables and chairs

Guide for hospitality businesses (PDF, 363KB)

To provide a greater level of certainty for businesses in these challenging times, the winter schemes will be able to operate until 30 April 2021 and cover the whole of the city, including the world-famous West End. The Council is also allowing infra-red heaters and canopies to protect patrons from the worst of the weather, subject to all relevant licensing approvals being secured.

The Council recently asked businesses to work with local residents to bring forward ideas for winter schemes that enjoy community support. Each proposal has been carefully reviewed and decisions have been taken on each. All businesses who are keen to deliver al fresco hospitality safely across the winter months in these agreed areas must ensure all the usual licensing permissions are in place before outdoor trading can recommence, including a built-in consultation with local residents on individual premises’ plans.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Rachael Robathan, said:

“We are working at pace to support the recovery of the West End when the lockdown eases with initiatives like winter al fresco dining and welcoming shoppers and visitors safely back to the City when permitted. We have extra pavement space, temporary bike lanes, social distancing measures and sanitiser throughout the City, so people will be able to come back to Westminster with confidence.”


Last updated: 16 December 2020