Can London’s high-end restaurants survive the pandemic?

At the entrance to Veeraswamy, London’s oldest Indian restaurant, a sign tells guests to prepare for a temperature check. At the reception desk they are greeted by steel columns dispensing hand-sanitiser gel, and packets of wipes are laid at each place setting.

But instead of the usual busy lunchtime service last Thursday, there were just two members of staff quietly laying tables for the first service in three months, after the coronavirus lockdown forced the 94-year-old restaurant to shut its doors for the first time — it even stayed open throughout the second world war.

“We will deliberately be maintaining as much of the atmosphere as possible,” said Ranjit Mathrani, chairman of Veeraswamy, which he co-owns alongside two other fine dining Indian restaurants in London and the casual dining chain Masala Zone. The additional health and safety protocols are one of a “tsunami of challenges”, he added.

Consumers and restaurateurs

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Accenture to cut 900 UK jobs as pandemic hits demand

Accenture will cut up to 900 jobs in the UK as the US-listed consultancy lowers costs due to a decline in work during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company told its 11,000 employees in the UK this week that about 8 per cent of jobs at all levels would be cut. Redundancies will start this month and conclude by September.

Demand for consultants has dropped during the financial downturn caused by the pandemic, as companies have paused deals and put large transformation projects on hold. Source Global Research, which advises the professional services industry, estimated the size of the global consulting sector would constrict by nearly a fifth to $130bn in 2020.

The UK’s large advisory and accounting firms Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and EY have cut partner pay by between 20 per cent and 25 per cent since March to preserve cash as fees, particularly from management consulting and tax work,

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NHS seeks to embed lessons of pandemic

Health service leaders are working to create a lasting legacy from the coronavirus crisis by embedding the rapid changes implemented across the NHS in England since the pandemic struck.

During the past three months the taxpayer-funded service has become more collaborative and tech-savvy — developments that could vastly improve the experience for patients while making better use of limited resources. Even as staff remain wary of a potential second wave of the virus, the question preoccupying many is how, or whether, these shifts can be sustained. 

The NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, has warned that waiting lists could rise from 4.4m in February to about 10m by the end of the year as the health service struggles to work through a huge treatment backlog. The scale of the task has only underlined the case for change.

Niall Dickson, chief executive, summed up the views of healthcare

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says it would be a ‘mistake’ to go back to austerity because of pandemic | Politics News

It would be a “mistake” to go back to austerity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister has said.

Boris Johnson told Times Radio there will be some “bumpy times” as the country recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak.

He said the coronavirus had been a “disaster” and an “absolute nightmare for the country”.

But the PM said the government would be “doubling down” on its levelling up agenda and investing in the economy.

It would be a “mistake” to go back to austerity, Mr Johnson added, saying he would be setting out a plan to “bounce forward” following the pandemic.

The government has already promised a decade-long schools rebuilding plan, with £1bn for 50 projects and another £560m for school repairs.

Mr Johnson said an economic effort like the one seen in the US under President Franklin D Roosevelt as it dealt with the Great Depression in

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