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Lockdown easing step 3: indoor hospitality and tourism

The Prime Minister has announced that we will be proceeding to step three of Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, as the four tests set out earlier this spring are still being met. As such, hospitality businesses will be able to welcome parties of up to six guests or two households indoors and groups of 30 patrons outdoors.

The tourism industry, which has greatly suffered in the last year, will also benefit from the reopening of hotels and a traffic-light system will allow for some international travel to return. London, and in particular the West End, has always been one of the world’s favourite destinations for culture and entertainment for both domestic and foreign visitors so we are delighted that cinemas, theatres and museums can once again open their doors.

As we have seen Londoners begin to return to their offices, we have heard how they have benefitted from seeing colleagues and reconnecting with teams. While many employers have already taken extensive measures to facilitate social distancing and make it safe to reopen workplaces, we eagerly anticipate the Government’s review into social distancing measures and a potential relaxation of most requirements on June 21 as this may allow for even more people to reunite with family, friends and colleagues this summer.

Visitors have already started to return to the West End to enjoy outdoor hospitality and take advantage of the reopening of non-essential retail in April. We introduced al fresco seating for over 3,000 people to help businesses in our areas reopen safely, and we will continue to support them through this next phase, engaging with our partners and Councils to make sure our occupiers can begin to recover after the lockdowns.

It has been great to see people returning to the West End and we hope to sustain this momentum as we head into the summer.

Brian Bickell

Chief Executive