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The UK is reopening for business. London may never be the same

London has seen more than its share of crises. The 2000-year old metropolis has endured an influenza pandemic, the Blitz and several financial meltdowns over just the past century.

Time and again,London has come roaring back, relying on a spirit of resilience and reinvention that is being summoned once more as the British capital seeks to recover from what may be this century’s greatest upheaval: the coronavirus pandemic.

The spread of the virus and efforts to contain it turned one of the world’s liveliest urban meccas into a virtual ghost town, driving millions of people out of the city’s center and its financial district, and bringing commerce to a sudden halt.

The scale of the shutdown would have been unimaginable just six months ago, when around 500,000 people poured into the area around Piccadilly Circus for the annual New Year’s Day Parade and it was common to wait 90 minutes for a table at the busiest restaurants.

Then the pandemic hit. Virtually overnight, shops closed, tourists fled, offices and streets emptied out and the city’s 9 million residents holed up at home. Nowhere was the standstill captured more acutely than in the mainstay of London city life: the Tube.

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