Al fresco dining can continue in central London through October

Al fresco dining can continue in central London through October thumbnail

A law has been extended to allow al fresco dining on the streets to continue in the London West End.

Best get your hats and gloves ready, as despite chilly weather arriving in the UK this weekend Westminster Council has declared businesses are allowed to continue to serve people eating and drinking outdoors until the end of October.

We just hope they’re going to provide some heaters.

In a letter to businesses on Wednesday, leader of the council Councillor Rachael Robathan wrote: ‘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. 

Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

‘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 while doing everything possible to support our city through these very challenging times.’

She added the council will look to support ‘events such as Christmas fairs or al fresco dining at certain times where it suits an area and enjoys local support’, and thanked businesses for adhering to the new 10pm curfew.

The news comes after crowds were seen flocking into London’s streets and the Underground last night on the first night after the introduction of the curfew.

The Business and Planning Bill was introduced in July to make it easy for pubs to use car parks as beer gardens, and for streets to be transformed into outdoor markets, in order to give floundering businesses a much-needed boost.

The new law loosened restrictions and allowed outdoor trading without the need for planning permission, and saw the country build a summer café culture as often seen in Continental Europe.

But the capital could be facing a second lockdown after a surge in cases saw the city added to the coronavirus ‘watch list’.

New figures show 620 new cases were confirmed in the capital in the last 24 hours – more than double the number at the start of the week.

The news was confirmed this morning by London Councils but a formal announcement is expected from Public Health England later today.

Thirty-five more Covid-19 patients have been admitted to hospital in London in the past day, bringing the total to 212. Forty of these patients are currently on ventilators.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.