Monday 11 May 2020 12:02 pm

Coronavirus lockdown: London records busiest week since restrictions began

Central London has recorded the busiest period since the UK coronavirus lockdown began, as more people returned to work and the government moved towards easing restrictions. 

Pedestrian activity in central London was up 10.2 per cent last week, driven by a sharp uptick on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as more workers travelled around the capital. 

Read more: Coronavirus lockdown: 1m firms warn of collapse if restrictions continue for three months

Between 5 May to 7 May, Hoxton Analytics recorded the busiest weekday period in central London since the coronavirus lockdown was announced on 23 March. 

However, despite concerns that the hot weather over the VE Day bank holiday weekend would encourage more Londoners to leave the house, there were similar levels of activity compared to the previous weekend. 

While there was a weekly jump in activity levels, pedestrian levels were down 89.4 per cent compared to last year. 

The spike in activity came ahead of a speech by the prime minister, which was expected to include the easing of some coronavirus lockdown restrictions. 

Boris Johnson last night announced the modification of some restrictions including allowing unlimited daily exercise and permitting sunbathing in parks. 

He also encouraged people who can not work from home to return to their workplace.

Read more: Coronavirus: How business responded to Boris Johnson’s lockdown plan

Johnson revealed a “roap map” for exiting the coronavirus lockdown. The second phase, which will not happen until 1 June at the earliest, could allow some shops to reopen and primary school children return to school. 

The third stage, which will see some hospitality venues reopen, will not happen until at least July.