All you need to know to safely live in and still enjoy one of the world’s most illustrious and iconic cities.
After lengthy lockdowns across the globe, the travel industry is slowly but surely beginning to re-open again. Unfortunately, with governments around the world, tackling COVID-19 in their own unique ways, it is suddenly slightly tricky for global business travelers to keep up with the ever-changing rules and guidance.
At Synergy, we want you to feel confident and in control when you’re working and living in a new city, so we’ve reached out to our friendly team of London locals to help create an essential guide for living in London during COVID times. From the formal laws and health guidance to what to expect and do in your spare time, take a read and get clued up as to how to confidently live and work away from home in London during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Get familiar with the rules
As with travelling to any new city or country outside of COVID times, it is important to get familiar with the local laws and rules. The UK is currently tackling the pandemic using a local and “tiered” approach, meaning the rules and regulations vary from region to region. As of 00:01 GMT on 16th December 2020, London is in tier 3. However, that guidance may change in the coming weeks, so be sure to follow the links below to find the most up to date information for London and the other UK regions.
For national guidance: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
For local guidance: https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus
Synergy’s top tips for London living during a pandemic.
Now that you’re familiar with the local rules, we want to ensure you can get on with making the most of your spare time when in London. You may be travelling during strange times but we can assure you, London is just as welcoming and iconic now as it was before. We’ve reached out to our London team for their top tips for making the most of London during the pandemic, so read on and get prepared to live in the city like a true Londoner.
“During the pandemic, London’s streets and public transport network have really quietened down, making a tour of the city an even more enjoyable experience than before. I recommend you take a walk through the city, starting at the iconic London Eye, and make your way East – you’ll come across everything from modern skyscrapers to London’s most iconic historical monuments, including St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower Bridge. Prepare yourself for some great photo opportunities!” – Emma Horton, Business Development Manager.
“London is brimming with bustling farmers’ markets and delicious food stalls which have stayed open throughout London’s lockdowns. Choose between the busier, more famous options such as Borough Market, Camden Market, and Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, or head to the outskirts for quieter, less touristy stalls such as Brixton Village and Brockley Market. As supermarkets can also be prone to long queues on the weekends due to social distancing rules, a farmer’s market is also a great and safer alternative.” – Laura-Jane, Senior Supply Chain Coordinator
Restaurants and bars
“If restaurants and bars are open when you visit, be sure to book a table to secure your spot whenever you go out. London is brimming with some of the world’s most spectacular restaurants and bars, which are popular at the best of times, so make sure you come prepared. When it comes to choosing where to go, why not make your way around some of London’s oldest pubs? My favourite is The George in London Bridge, which dates back to 1583 and is a popular choice of Shakespeare’s. – Sofia Oragano, Business Development Manager
Some establishments may require that you “check-in” to their venue using the UK government’s track and trace app – especially in central London. Although some venues will offer alternative ways to “check-in,” be prepared to be turned away if you don’t have the official app. You can download it here.
Please note that as London is currently in tier 3 from 00:01 GMT on the 16th December 2021, all restaurants and bars will be temporarily closed. Be sure to check the links above to stay up to date with any changes in guidance.
“During COVID times, it is advised that you spend most of your time outside, especially if you want to socialize with those who do not live in the same household as you. London is packed with some brilliant walks and nature trails, so get your walking boots on and explore the city the old fashioned way. Stay in central London and experience the landmarks of South Bank, the leafy routes of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St James’s Park, the water-side trail of Regents Canal which leads onto the canals of Camden or head out of the centre to the gorgeous green spaces of Richmond and Battersea Park.” – Charlotte Winter, Operations Manager
All in all, London isn’t so scary during a pandemic after all. While you may need to adapt and do some things a little differently, we can assure you that London is still a great place to live and that life will always, in one shape or another, feel good in London. Don’t forget we’re doing all we can at Synergy to ensure your stay away from home is a safe and comfortable one – from our Synergy Cares 9-point programme to our knowledgeable and friendly team on hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, you’ll be in safe hands.