London’s Canary Wharf has drawn up detailed plans to bring bankers, accountants and lawyers back to the financial district as the coronavirus pandemic eases, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
The plans include introducing one-way routes, to daily deep cleaning, limiting lift capacity and removing soft furnishings, the newspaper said.
The London estate, home to the European headquarters of Barclays, Citigroup and HSBC and many other businesses, is issuing new guidance to tenants this week, the FT said.
Canary Wharf, home to the likes of Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC and Refinitv, is one of the most powerful financial citadels on earth. Its gleaming Manhattan-style skyscrapers soar above some of London’s poorest social housing blocks.
According to the Financial Times, signs will tell workers they should not pass on escalators, while heavy footfall routes around malls and offices are being separated into one-way flows to ensure social distancing.
Hand sanitiser stations will be placed outside office entrances, the newspaper said.
“During the lockdown, we have been living above the shop, and have worked closely with our customers and friends like a family,” George Iacobescu, chairman of Canary Wharf, was quoted as saying by the FT.
“Together we have prepared 16m sq ft of offices and public spaces ready for tens of thousands of people to come back safely when they are ready and still to maintain social distancing,” Iacobescu said.
The company has calculated that with four people in each lift, its office tower at One Canada Square will be able to move 56 people every five minutes per lift bank, which equates to almost 2,700 per hour over the four lift banks.
In the guidance to tenants, Canary Wharf said “travelling on the Transport for London network will be an ongoing concern as social distancing measures force a reduction in capacity, especially during peak periods.”