Coronavirus: London-based Kiwi businesses desperately trying to remain open

Although England's COVID-19 lockdown eases on Monday, it's little comfort for Kiwi-run businesses in London who are desperately trying to survive.

Outdoor markets and car yards can reopen, but one pie business run by New Zealanders is feeling the struggle.

Under the railway arches in Bermondsey, you'll find the best pies in the UK.

Kiwis from all over London get their fix from Secret Goldmine, but these pastry treasures have been a rare find in the last ten weeks of lockdown.

It's takeaway and delivery only, and while you technically can't eat on site, there's a nook in the car park where you can sit down. But just making-do and also relying on government support is not sustainable, owner Mike Meehan says.

"It's been helpful up until now. How things develop in the long-term will be the crucial element about whether businesses like mine will survive."

From Monday, outdoor markets and stalls are allowed to open, but that doesn't include the Secret Goldmine pie shop.

"It is frustrating and we do see certain places are allowed to do one thing and other places are allowed to do other things. There's confusion out there for sure," he says.

His frustration is shared across town at Laundry in Brixton, a Kiwi-owned bistro that only opened last November. Owner Melanie Brown says the situation is "heartbreaking".

"We've worked so hard and invested a lot of money and a lot of energy and spirit into building something that's Kiwi-owned and here we are just twiddling our thumbs."

She's twiddling away with takeaway coffees and cocktails, and she's converted the dining area into a general store to try to make ends meet.

"That wasn't our original business model and we just don't know where hospitality is going now, we don't know what restrictions are going to be imposed on us."

Despite the courtyard being outdoors and massive, she can't open it up because it's classified as a terrace, not an open-air market. 

"The Laundry is in limbo, yeah, that's pretty much what's happening right now. We're in survival mode."

And it'll be like that for at least another month, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson not entertaining the idea of bars and restaurants opening until July at the earliest.