London during Covid-19 lockdown: Photos of the capital’s silent streets three years on

From Piccadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square, London’s streets emptied as the country locked down during the pandemic.

Three years since the first lockdown was announced to try to quell the spread of Covid-19, the toll on London and the country as a whole has been huge.

According to government data, as of February 24, more than 220,000 people in England had died with Covid-19 on their death certificate, with many more suffering from associated complications such as long-Covid, and grief from losing family members, partners and friends.

The impact on London as a city was far-reaching, with most businesses shut and the streets emptying due to restrictions during the pandemic.

It was on March 23, 2020, that the former prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced the country would be going into its first lockdown. Once the measures had come into force several days later, on March 26, most activity in the city came to a halt as people were ordered to stay at home.

In June 2020, the first lockdown was rolled back by the PM, as restrictions and the 2m social distancing rule were relaxed. However, a series of local lockdowns were announced over the next few months, with the country’s second full lockdown announced at the end of October.

A third lockdown would follow, announced in January 2021, and while some elements of it were withdrawn in March, it would not be until July that year that life would return to ‘normal’, as most legal limits on social contact were fully removed and venues such as nightclubs were again allowed to reopen.

Certain obligations however remained beyond this date, with masks remaining compulsory for most indoor venues for several more months.