Westminster is working to reopen hospitality businesses from early July but officers at the council, led by Kevin Goad, are considering bringing forward local schemes that could be delivered quickly and for a set period of time ‘to improve the safe use of public space in the coming months’. It is also looking at how it can ‘make changes to public space, road and pavement layouts which will facilitate social distancing while allowing people to move more freely and support the reopening of bars and restaurants.’
Transit Studio director Ben Masterson-Smith has also joined the movement with his ‘Social Soho’ vision to temporarily pedestrianise areas of Soho to enable restaurants and bars to reopen, initially looking at the east of the area. One iteration (pictured) shows seating arranged back to back on the centreline of a road, potentially with decorative hygiene screens or signage. Another (pictured) is a 2m-wide table placed on the centreline, and other ideas include having a series of events to launch the scheme with lunches and dinners for frontline workers like doctors and nurses.