Al fresco dining on the menu as lockdown eases

Published: Tuesday 9 March 2021

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Al fresco dining and shopping will make a welcome return to famous London streets in Kensington and Chelsea when lockdown eases in April.

Roads are closed to traffic to help cafes, bars and restaurants make the most of lockdown easing for outdoor hospitality from 12 April. Twenty-four hour closures are in place in:

  • Pavilion Road
  • Bute Street
  • Elystan Street.

A daytime closure continues in Portobello Road, allowing outdoor shoppers more space as the world-famous Portobello and Golborne market welcomes back non-essential stalls. Some stallholders have operated throughout lockdown, providing essential groceries to residents.

Cllr Johnny Thalassites, lead member for environment, planning and place, said:

“Kensington and Chelsea is home to some of the best places to shop, eat and drink not just in London but around the world. We want to give our businesses the very best chance of recovery when lockdown lifts. Closing roads and getting outdoor licences to business owners as quickly as possible are just some of the practical ways to help our borough get back to the bustling, vibrant destination we have all been missing so much during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Council has issued more than 200 pavement licences for businesses to operate outdoors since last summer. Most business won’t need to reapply because pavement licences issued last summer are valid for 12 months from the start date. New licences issued this spring will be valid until 30 September 2021. Businesses can find out more about getting a pavement licence and apply online via the Council’s website.

The Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown gives 12 April as the earliest possible date for the return of non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality, with the 10pm curfew scrapped for restaurants and pubs.

The Bute Street and Elystan Street road closures are operating under experimental traffic orders. A decision on whether to make them permanent is expected to be made later this year.

Portobello Road is closed to traffic on market days from 10am – 4pm to make more space for stallholders and shoppers.