It is only half past ten, but most have returned home.
In Covent Garden, the empty tables spoke for themselves.
No big crowds, just small groups of friends, for one last night.
Many presented their weekend plans ahead of the start of the mixing ban.
One group said to me, “We were supposed to come here tomorrow for a birthday, but that can’t happen, so we’re here tonight. ”
Most are resigned to the new rules and restrictions. A teenage girl, with her friends, said: “I saw what is going on, I know why we are doing it.
“The problem is, for us, we’re all in college together during the day, and yet we can’t go out together.
His friend said he found it “a bit unnecessary”.
As bars and restaurants can only accommodate groups, they are already starting to count the cost.
At the Frenchies, they served 74 covers per night. That fell when the rule of six started. Upgrading to level 2 means they will only manage around 40.
Chef Victor Avonds tries to stay upbeat, but admits things will be tough. “Before, we were creative, we rebuilt and we saw it in our reservations.
“But we can see for tomorrow that reservations are already dropping. ”
She is afraid for the future, uncertain if customers will continue to come.
And it’s hard to go on, when things seem so fragile.
“Every day you’re like, what’s going to be the next thing, what’s going to happen?” It’s tiring. ”
There is also a feeling among many of these changes will be lasting. Some wonder if further action could be taken if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.