At lunchtime at Canary Wharf last week, only one customer waited at the counter at Garbanzos’ falafel and salad kiosk. Before the pandemic, a snake of well-dressed workers was reportedly lined up in the plaza at the foot of One Canada Square. The situation was similar at the other food stalls in the shadow of the 50-story skyscraper, the centerpiece of the London version of Manhattan, as a handful of patrons occupied tables at Pret A Manger and Starbucks. One vendor estimated attendance to be 5% to 10% before the March lockdown.
Covid-19 has depleted the white collar army that normally invades old London shipyards and has motivated Boris Johnson to encourage employers to bring back workers this week –