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Lockdown easing step 2: non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality

As set out in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, the Prime Minister has confirmed that England will proceed to step two on the 12 April as the four tests set out for lockdown easing continue to be met. Much of this is due to the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine, and we are incredibly grateful to all those who have helped deliver this very impressive programme.

Non-essential retail, outdoor attractions, and outdoor hospitality venues, among others, will be able to open their doors to visitors for the first time in 2021. This is very welcome news for all involved and we know that our occupiers have plans in place to open safely and observe social distancing, as they did so successfully last summer.

The Government will also be implementing a traffic light system when we return to international travel. Tourism plays a vital role in across London, and we continue to plan for safely welcoming overseas visitors once we are able to do so.

The Government has set 21 June as the earliest possible date for lifting most restrictions, and we look forward to further easing such as the opening of indoor hospitality as this will further boost the West End’s post-lockdown recovery. We are also eagerly anticipating the Government’s review of social distancing and updated guidance on opening offices, as we know many will welcome the opportunity to return to their workplaces and reconnect with colleagues.

We are delighted to begin to welcome visitors back to the West End and encourage visitors and businesses to continue to follow Government guidelines, particularly around social distancing, masks, and visitor numbers, to ensure a successful start to the reopening of this world-famous destination.

Brian Bickell

Chief Executive