Sydney has finally reopened, but the once bustling city center remains largely deserted as guests look for eateries closer to home.
The Harbor City lockdown was largely lifted on Oct. 11, allowing bars and restaurants to reopen, but a recent video uploaded to YouTube’s More Locations page shows the area around George Street’s town hall station resembling a ghost town.
As the creator of the video headed south toward Chinatown, a few people were still on the road, but still in alarmingly low numbers.
With more than 80 percent of the NSW population now double-vaccinated, some expected the city to be reborn soon – however, early signs suggest it will be some time before the city regains its former life.
As the clip continues, the man passes KFC on Bathurst St before heading to a nearby shopping center, where people were once again in short supply.
When Sydney reopened on October 11, the CBD still resembled a ghost town in some parts (photo, City Hall on George St)
Diners instead flock to King St in Newtown (pictured), famed for its eateries and vibrant nightlife
Usually a popular foodie spot, Dixon St in Chinatown remains quiet, as does Market City on Hay St, which used to be a hub for bargain hunters.
Comments to the video reflected the sadness that lockdowns had robbed the city of its former vibrancy.
“The city is so quiet and so empty… of course vaccination doesn’t mean you are protected from Covid so everyone is still cautious,” one wrote.
A second commented that it was a “sad and morbid scene.” and that it was a long way from the bustling Sydney of yesteryear.’
Another said he hoped people would return soon as the ‘virus is not out in the open’ and that ‘Sydney is a great city to walk around’.
While Sydney’s CBD is currently lacking its usual vibe, there was much more life in suburban restaurants and cafes in areas like Newtown, Parramatta, Bondi and Manly.
With many residents of those areas still working from home, the after-work drinking and eating culture has been completely removed from the city.
Iconic ‘foodie’ locations such as King St in Sydney’s inner west fill up quickly, with similar scenes on Corso on the northern beaches and Campbell Parade on Bondi Beach to the east.
Parramatta, which prides itself on cultural diversity, also has a range of food options that have now reopened and are taking on dozens of local residents in the west.
In July, the shutdown in Sydney and surrounding regions cost nearly $1 billion a week.
Devastated small businesses and frustrated families begged for lockdown to be lifted, with one for a warning ‘it’s like Chernobyl out there’.
The CBD was leave and previous hotspots like the historic Rocks area — adjacent to the Opera House and Harbor Bridge — were also quiet and empty.
Countless entrepreneurs were desperate for a return to normalcy before the damage became permanent.
There was a fear that the shutdowns would make work-from-home a permanent phenomenon, robbing the CBD of the office workers who support the city’s food and beverage outlets.
Manly’s iconic Corso is already seeing an influx of people as summer quickly approaches
Diners are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating in Sydney’s western Parramatta (pictured)
The once bustling Rocks area of Sydney, popular with international and domestic tourists alike, became a ghost town during lockdown