Coronavirus: Street markets see biggest crowds on first Covid-19 lockdown weekend

In the first lockdown people queued for hours at supermarkets and scrambled to buy dry pasta and toilet rolls. This time shelves have remained well stocked and the queues are more likely to be found outside coffee shops. Clothes shops, gyms and hairdressers have been forced to close again, but those deemed “essential” reported doing a healthy trade. 

At Ealing dog grooming service Doggylocks, allowed to keep operating, owner Bronwyn Hall said: “It’s been a very busy time, we are just hoping it will last.”   Social media was flooded with posts showing parks packed with people enjoying the dry weather.  Runner Becca Taylor, 30, said: “Bushy Park was very busy and there were big queues for the Skylark Cafe over on Wandsworth Common on Sunday.”

A last-minute change to the new rules last week allowed pubs to sell drink as a takeaway.

( Gustavo Valiente / Parsons Media )

There were queues outside Cable Co. coffee house and bakery in Kensal Rise today.   Customer Guy Wilson, 28, said: “It’s like the lockdown isn’t happening really. The schools are open and I can still get a top coffee and croissant before work.”

Thom Elliot, who owns London chain Pizza Pilgrims, closed all 14 restaurants during the first lockdown but this time around just four have shut completely.  

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He said: “There definitely isn’t as much fear around this time.

People have a better understanding of the virus and I think they do want to be out acting safely.

The night before [this lockdown] was like Christmas in Soho.”

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