A strange kind of normality

Working or furloughed during the pandemic, it’s all a question of survival for staff and business alike. Keep Edinburgh Thriving explores how the city has looked with social distancing and wonders what may change in the months ahead. 

Florist’s in Canonmills From the sadness of a bereavement to comforting a friend who is struggling on their own, many florists have stayed open throughout the pandemic to cater to personal, family and business needs. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Tollcross Takeaways, restaurants and cafes have all struggled with changing regulations. From collections to home deliveries, little pleasures are still available around town. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Annandale Street Bus drivers chat post-shift outside the Lothian Buses depot. Routes have been running at a reduced service, with over 1,000 staff furloughed at some point. The operator continues to urge people to “only travel if their journey is truly essential”. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Tynecastle stadium Scottish football has continued this season but some teams are struggling more than others. Hearts play in the Championship, which along with the Premiership, is the only league currently operating. Women’s and lower league football are especially hard hit. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Fountainbridge  Workers take advantage of low traffic levels to close off a section of road. Outdoor workers like landscapers and builders have been able to continue to work if their employers committed to self-assessment measures proposed in the Scottish government’s “route plan though and out of the crisis” in May last year. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Waverley Station Over the last two months Edinburgh taxi drivers have been dropping people off to queue at vaccine centres around the city. The trade union Unite, Edinburgh Cab Section, has called for more government funding for taxi drivers. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Tollcross Independent and multinational cinema chains have had a rough time without ticket sales. Many independent cinemas are charities, so donations and memberships have helped some to retain staff. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Waverley Station Note the time. Rail workers wait to offer assistance to rush-hour commuters, who are few and far between. ScotRail has reported a 90 per cent drop in passenger numbers for much of the last year. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Gorgie Road A woman waits for her dry cleaning to be collected from the backroom. Rhoda Grant, MSP for Highlands and Islands, told parliament it was unfair that laundrettes and dry cleaners were ineligible for grants while their main customers – hotels, offices, pubs and restaurants, B&Bs, barbers and hairdressers – have had to close. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Usher Hall Graduations, gigs, theatrical performances... how a year has repurposed this venue. Testing and vaccine injection sites are planted all around town for easier access. The larger the venue, the better, offering visitors and staff a safer experience. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Haymarket A group of police officers return to their station. According to Police Scotland, Edinburgh South East is second in a table of  the top areas in Scotland  for illegal house party fines between August 28, 2020 and January 8, 2021. Property rental websites have also been used widely as people attempt to distance themselves from a home address or neighbours. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Fountainbridge Essential shops such as newsagents have been continuing to serve local communities every day. Many shoppers have returned to smaller shops to avoid larger crowds in supermarkets. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Tollcross Bookies across Scotland have spent most of their time closed in the last year. Much of the betting trade has already moved online as some stores could face permanent closure with many  job losses. Fears have also been raised over more ads targeting problem betters at home. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

Dundee Street McEwan’s beer, welly boots and sweets – Fountainbridge has seen many factories come and go, but as the area changes, more student accommodation and hotels are being built. Who knows how tourist and student numbers will look after Covid but money is still being invested in the future. (Ross Cowper-Fraser)

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