England's streets deserted after Boris Johnson's announcement of third lockdown

George Martin
·3-min read

Watch: City centres in England quiet on first day of lockdown 3.0

Streets in towns and cities across England were deserted on Tuesday after Boris Johnson’s announcement of a third nationwide lockdown.

In a televised address on Monday, the prime minister said the government would introduce new controls in an attempt to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

Johnson warned the coming weeks will be the "hardest yet" as he urged people to stay at home once again to halt soaring infection rates.

Several town and city centres appeared to be empty on Tuesday morning after the prime minister’s announcement.

 A view of a deserted Regent Street, as shops and businesses close once again. London has imposed even tougher restrictions as cases surge and a new strain of COVID-19 emerges in the capital and the South East of England. (Photo by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A view of a deserted Regent Street in London, as shops and businesses close once again. (Getty)
An usually busy street is seen empty in York City Centre. More than three quarters of England's population is being ordered to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)
An usually busy street is seen empty in York city centre. (Getty)
Shops in Plymouth city centre were mostly closed on Tuesday morning. (SWNS)
Shops in Plymouth city centre were mostly closed on Tuesday morning. (SWNS)

Johnson raised the prospect on Monday that the vaccination programme being rolled out across the country could enable restrictions to be progressively eased from mid-February.

He added that "with a fair wind in our sails" it should be possible to vaccinate 13 million of the most vulnerable people by mid-February, paving the way for controls to be eased.

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As part of the new measures, will only be allowed to leave their house for limited reasons.

Residents can leave their homes for shopping for necessities such as food and medicine, but only as infrequently as possible.

Empty streets in Worcester city centre, Worcestershire, on the first day of the third national lockdown in England, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced further coronavirus restrictions during a televised address to the nation last night.
Empty streets in Worcester city centre. (PA)
Two police officers patrol an empty High Street in Worcester city centre, Worcestershire, on the first day of the third national lockdown in England, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced further coronavirus restrictions during a televised address to the nation last night.
Two police officers patrol an empty High Street in Worcester city centre. (PA)
Empty streets and pavements on the Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne the morning after Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out further measures as part of a lockdown in England in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Empty streets and pavements on the Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne. (PA)

People are also allowed to leave home if they are caring for somebody, are a volunteer, or to provide essentials for people who are self-isolating.

Exercise is also allowed, but should be limited to once a day, with members of your household or support bubble or one other person from another household.

People can leave home for medical reasons and other essential tasks such as being with someone who is giving birth, or to visit someone who is dying.

They will be able to go to work if it is impossible to work from home, such as those in the construction sector or who are critical workers. All others must work from home.

An empty stretch of the M5 motorway on Tuesday. (SWNS)
An empty stretch of the M5 motorway on Tuesday. (SWNS)
A quiet Rose Street in Edinburgh city centre. (SWNS)
A quiet Rose Street in Edinburgh city centre. (SWNS)
The usually busy Princes Street in Edinburgh is deserted as people stay home on Tuesday. (SWNS)
The usually busy Princes Street in Edinburgh is near deserted as people stay home. (SWNS)

Scotland also returned to lockdown until at least the end of January on Tuesday in a bid to combat further spread of the new coronavirus.

The latest restrictions came into effect from midnight in all Level 4 areas of the Scottish government's five-tier system and will continue throughout the month.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the new rules on Monday afternoon, just hours before Johnson’s statement.

She tweeted: "Being back in lockdown is really hard to take for everyone, but it is necessary to slow down this new strain of the virus while we get people vaccinated.

"Please - for you own safety, that of your loved ones and of the whole country: Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives."

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