London’s pubs and restaurants are quiet. Too quiet. In the week that life in the capital was supposed to start getting back to normal, rising fears about the impact of a second wave have kept residents and workers at home.
Offices don’t want to open for fear of becoming ground zero in a second wave. Commuters want to avoid the heat of mask wearing on the trains. And the lack of footfall on the City’s streets is having severe repercussions for the cafes, bars and shops. The UK’s economic powerhouse – which contributes roughly a quarter of its GDP – remains in hiding from coronavirus.
But outdoor spaces are thriving. Brits seeking respite from the lonely months of lockdown are far more likely to head to the great outdoors than to the pubs, where nervous landlords are keen to prevent parties from becoming too rowdy and restrictions are being placed on the number of people in a group. Beaches, forests, fields, mountains and parks can’t chuck you out if festivities become too raucous.