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Famous landmarks deserted as coronavirus lockdown continues

Dominic Lipinski/Kirsty O'Connor

By Tess de la Mare, PA

Britain’s busiest landmarks and beauty spots lie deserted in the beautiful spring sunshine as the nation stays indoors to try and contain the spread of coronavirus.

The pavements outside Buckingham Palace, usually packed, were completely empty on Tuesday after the Government introduced the near total lockdown earlier this week.

The daily ceremony of the Changing of the Guard, popular with visitors to the city, has been suspended until further notice.

The Millennium Bridge over the Thames was deserted as galleries, restaurants, pubs and cafes were told they must shut up shop until the worst of the virus has passed.

The view of St Paul’s from the south bank of the river was completely clear of people this week and even places of worship have been told to shut their doors.

Tower Bridge was also free of its usual queues of traffic.

Air quality in the capital has risen sharply since the lockdown came into force as drivers and taxis stick to the rules and stay home.

There have been big drops in nitrogen dioxide and tiny particles known as “PM2.5” which can contribute to respiratory illnesses.

The station at Canary Wharf, the heart of London’s financial district, did not have a single banker or broker on its escalators on Tuesday, after only a handful of roles in the industry were granted key worker status.

In Bath, the famous limestone streets were empty of both shoppers and visitors as all non-essential businesses were told they had to close.

The city describes itself as “the original wellbeing destination” due to its Roman-era bath complex and mineral rich hot spring waters, but all of its many spas are shut during the pandemic.

In Bournemouth, the beach would normally be rammed with locals and visitors enjoying the March sunshine.

Instead it was almost completely empty except for a few joggers and dog walkers trying to keep a safe distance apart.

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, normally one of the most popular areas of the Old Town, was also eerily quiet.

Scotland has a little over 700 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 22 deaths.

Organisers of one of the most popular events in the city’s calendar, the Edinburgh Fringe festival, say they are still planning for the Fringe’s programme of comedy and drama to go ahead as planned in August.

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