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Covent Garden’s shops and market are open again after lockdown

Covent Garden Market and its surrounding shops are back with new social-distancing measures

Written by
Laura Richards

Tourist haven Covent Garden is making its return to business. From today (Monday June 15), shops are allowed to reopen to the public. As such, fashion and beauty stores are bursting back to life – including Charlotte Tilbury and Mulberry outlets – and the area’s iconic market is opening up to visitors. But by the sounds of it, not only will it be a whole lot less touristy, but it’ll seem like an entirely new experience. 

Expect to see dotted around the area hand sanitiser stations, signage advising on social distancing and the same marked queuing system in place for each and every shop that reopens. Customers will be required to queue from the left of each shop’s entrance and stores will be subject to irregular opening hours. In the market, a one-way system will be introduced and the Apple Market is yet to announce its return. 

Covent Garden reopening
Photograph: Paul Grover

Outside in Covent Garden Piazza, the street performers will be noticeably absent. Instead, expect to find an all-new outdoor seating area, with tables spaced appropriately. Some of Covent Garden’s restaurants have reopened for takeaway options, so alfresco dining in the Piazza is a distinct possibility for keen visitors (weather dependent!). The whole estate will be subject to regular cleaning each day.   

Covent Garden reopening
Photograph: Paul Grover

Perhaps most exciting of all is the news that some of the busy area’s streets are being pedestrianised by day. From 11am to 11pm, Floral Street, Henrietta Street, King Street, Maiden Lane, North Burleigh Street, Rose Street and Tavistock Street will be closed to traffic to allow on-foot visitors to the area to spread out. James Street will be pedestrianised from 11am to 7am as will the Piazza, from 10.30am to 7am.

And a final bit of good news: the toilets under St Paul’s church will be open, too. 

Check which traders are back in action at

Read all about Oxford Street’s plans for reopening

What will shops even be like when they reopen? 

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