14 July 2020   |   Issue 25 

Thank you for continuing to support Westminster and the rest of London through this unprecedented time. Please find below the latest information from the City Council on how we are supporting our communities and businesses. 

Westminster Reopening

Leisure centres gearing up to reopen: Following last week’s Government announcement that leisure centres, indoor gyms and indoor swimming pools will be able to reopen from 25 July, we are working with our partner, Everyone Active, to make sure our leisure centres across Westminster are safe and ready to welcome people back. Upcoming editions of our newsletters and our website will show the latest updates on our reopening plans.
While we wait for our leisure centres and pools to reopen, our outdoor gyms and playgrounds are now open to the public. Facilities will be cleaned more regularly and have additional signage to remind users how they can help to ensure these facilities stay safe and open. For a list of all the parks and playgrounds in Westminster, please visit our Parks in Westminster site.
Reopening guidance: Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo and massage studios, physical therapy businesses and spas across England are able to reopen from this week (Monday 13 July). Click here for guidance on making your businesses coronavirus secure. The Government has also developed a tool to help businesses make risk assessments and identify the workplace adjustments that should be made. Please share this new tool with your networks to help ensure a safe reopening of their business.

Supporting the safe reopening of hospitality businesses: A big thank you to all those who've worked with us to help Westminster’s hospitality businesses reopen safely. We want to thank residents, businesses and visitors for enjoying the great hospitality that our city has to offer last weekend, while being mindful of the safety of those around them. We will always ask people to be considerate to those who live in the area and look forward to everyone continuing to work well together over the coming weeks and months.
Additional measures were introduced across Westminster to enable people to enjoy al fresco hospitality safely in streets that are temporarily closed to traffic at certain times of the day, including:

  • Local venues have been reminded of their responsibilities and the new licensing measures.
  • Demarcated enclosures were installed around outdoor seating areas in central locations, ensuring that the space in the street was occupied by those who are using tables and chairs.
  • Customers are asked to book and plan ahead when visiting key dining areas, only going to venues when they have booked a table and where space has been accounted for.
  • Along with our partners, we will use all enforcement powers open to us to ensure public safety.

Click here to see the full detail on Westminster’s recently updated measures and here's to everyone continuing to work together to enjoy summer safely.

Apply for a fast-track licence: We have introduced a temporary fast-track licencing application for hospitality businesses to use outdoor space for tables and chairs and to sell alcohol using a temporary event notice to help them reopen safely. Click here to read more about the application process.

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme: The Government's new “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme offers a discount to diners and encourages them to eat at local restaurants. Here's a reminder of how it all works:
  • All day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from Monday 03 to Monday 31 August 2020, a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, is offered to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in.
  • There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme.
  • Customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking. Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.
Businesses need to register for the scheme. Registration is open now and closes on 31 August. Please share the details of how to register your business with your partners and networks.

Community Updates

Get involved with Sliver Sunday: On Sunday 4 October it is National Day for Older People – aka Silver Sunday – and the Council needs your help to celebrate our older population.

Last year, an incredible 1,200 events took place all across the UK. This year, the Council is inviting individuals, organisations and community groups to use their imagination to create new ways to celebrate Silver Sunday – whether via socially responsible events on our doorsteps, outdoors or online.

The Council wants to hear from anyone who can get involved. Whether that's baking cakes for your community, running a Zoom Zumba class, organising a socially distant walk in the park or a street party, all ideas are welcomed.

For more details visit the Silver Sunday website, contact us by phone at 07890 380 238 or email us via

Community Contribution Fund open for applications: The Community Contribution awards funding to community and voluntary organisations in Westminster and is now open for an extended period of time, closing on Friday 31 July 2020.

Grants of up to £25,000 are still available for projects that: 

1. Produce innovative ideas on how to reduce rough sleeping in Westminster
2. Tackle social isolation and loneliness across all age groups
3. Help young people to reach their potential to achieve fulfilling careers

Alongside local voluntary and community organisations, applications from registered charities, social enterprises, schools and not-for-profit companies are welcome. Find out more and apply here

Business Support

Last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a new wave of initiatives intended to support businesses as they reopen:

  • Support for Hospitality Sector: Sales tax (VAT) included in the cost of food, accommodation and attractions will be cut until mid-January from 20% to 5%. Further to this, diners will receive 50% off dining out from Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August as part of the efforts to support the hospitality industry.
  • Furlough bonus: A £1,000 bonus to all businesses for each employee that is taken off furlough and is employed until January.
  • Youth Employment: A £2.1bn scheme to create more jobs for young people. The fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Get support for businesses from Westminster's Business Unit: Book a session to discuss reopening or other issues with the Business Unit online now or by calling 020 7641 2070. For more information on the service, please visit our website.
Every week we publish news and information for businesses in Westminster. See our latest business newsletter for key updates, events and resources here.
NHS Test and Trace: As our city starts to reopen, NHS Test and Trace will help to reduce the spread of coronavirus and contain and stop outbreaks. It will help the NHS to keep the rate of reproduction – the ‘R’ number – below 1 so that the Council can continue to support the safe reopening of our city. Last week, we launched a dedicated hub with all the information you will need to know about Test and Trace, including our local Outbreak Plan.
NHS Test and Trace: What you need to know and do

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