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A near empty Parliament Square on St. Patrick's Day. The area would usually be filled with revellers.

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Coronavirus takes hold of Britain leaving empty shelves and empty streets

Streets, restaurants and bars in the UK were uncharacteristically muted on Tuesday – St Patrick's Day – in sharp contrast to the usual cheerful festivities.

After the government banned large gatherings and warned against unnecessary contact, to protect people from the coronavirus outbreak, popular landmarks were eerily quiet.

Boris Johnson urged people to avoid unessential travel, to work from home where possible, and to stay away from pubs, bars and restaurants.

And it seems that the public has started to take heed.

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Covent Garden, usually packed with throngs of tourists and commuters, was today almost deserted, with outdoor seating completely empty.

Selfridges in London, one of the city's most popular shopping stores, was without its usual thousands of shoppers.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the London Underground would be running a reduced service after passenger numbers dropped in recent days.

In Birmingham's Brindley Place, the streets, usually packed with commuters going to work, were empty at rush hour.