LONDON (1) – At midnight, silence shrouds London’s party land.

FILE PHOTO: The sunshine trails of buses are seen driving by means of a quiet Oxford Circus through the late night, as the town at night time is deserted like by no means earlier than whereas the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) lockdown continues, in London, Britain April 21, 2020. Image taken with a gradual shutter pace. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The packed streets and teeming bars which have tended to the nocturnal wants of drunken poets, louche musicians and revellers searching for journey have been left desolate by the coronavirus lockdown.

From the pubs of London’s West Finish to the hedonistic nightclubs of Shoreditch, the enjoyable has departed the British capital, at the least for now.

Gone is humanity: the crowds, the diners, the drunks, the bewildered vacationers, the opera aficionados, the watchful doormen, the lovers snatching an elicit embrace.

Soho’s rainbow flags flutter above deserted bars, therapeutic massage parlours lie darkish and neon indicators exterior shuttered intercourse outlets provide fantasies however nothing extra.

London at night time is deserted as by no means earlier than. The massive screens of Piccadilly Circus flash at nothing however a number of geese from the close by royal park waddling nonchalantly previous the fountain pool.

A solitary bell tolls, often inaudible above the din, echoing alongside John Nash’s elegant Regent Avenue. Empty crimson bus follows empty crimson bus.

Like many different cities, London is now taken care of by only a skeleton workers: bus drivers in masks, cops, the odd meals supply bicycle owner and avenue cleaners.

Homeless individuals discover life even more durable than it was.

A 19-year-old heroin addict, who requested to not be named, was sleeping tough on the streets of Europe’s richest metropolis. She stated she discovered it arduous to get cash and had nowhere else to go.

“London is useless – it’s goodnight London,” stated Darryl Wainwright, 40, who has been homeless for practically two years. “It’s bizarre. It’s loopy. I can’t perceive it. I’ve by no means seen London like this.”


The coronavirus lockdown has left many bars and eating places the world over dealing with an unprecedented money crunch: giant rents, usually excessive debt and 0 earnings. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered pubs and eating places closed on March 20.

London’s night-time economic system often employs 1.6 million individuals, contributes billions of kilos to the economic system and is considered one of Europe’s high spots for revelry alongside Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Ibiza.

Soho, although, was deserted.

Its bars have lengthy been a refuge for well-known writers, musicians, resistance leaders and philosophers.

The French Home, on Dean Avenue, was frequented by Charles de Gaulle after the autumn of France. Welsh poet Dylan Thomas as soon as left the manuscript of “Beneath Milk Wooden” below a chair there.

Karl Marx lived in Soho, as did Thomas De Quincey, creator of “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater”. George Orwell celebrated U.S. recognition of his “Animal Farm” within the Canine and Duck pub.

The Beatles recorded “Hey Jude” in a Soho studio and David Bowie recorded “Ziggy Stardust” there too.

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In close by Chinatown, lanterns swaying within the wind are the one issues that transfer. Leicester Sq. is even quieter.

Avenue sweepers stated they now had the house to offer the town a radical clear.

One stated: “The West Finish by no means sleeps – by no means – or not till now.”

Writing by Man Faulconbridge; Modifying by Mike Collett-White