In pictures: West Country towns and cities deserted following coronavirus lockdown

Towns and cities across the West Country were deserted this morning after strict new measures curbing freedom of movement were introduced.

The Prime Minister announced a “national emergency” on Monday (March 23) night, demanding the public follow Government advice and remain indoors.

Many streets, train stations and shops across the region were empty during what is normally rush hour - including Bristol Temple Meads.

An empty walkway at Temple Meads train station in Bristol during morning rush hour. Credit: PA
No trains present at one of the platform stops. Credit: PA
An empty platform. Credit: PA

Pictures of the station showed a number of empty platforms and an abandoned taxi rank while two police officers walked the streets nearby.

Two police officers walk the abandoned streets near Bristol Temple Meads train station. Credit: PA
A single person is seen walking to Temple Meads train station. Credit: PA
Two people walking in Queen Square. Credit: PA

The city centre was also quiet, with just a handful of passers-by pictured in Queen Square.

In Bath, the city’s famous Abbey and its churchyard were entirely unoccupied - with not a single person in sight.

Ben Birchall, a photographer for PA, described the scene as “very spooky” in a tweet.

Elsewhere in the region, the A38 near Ivybridge in Devon was reduced to just a number of cars - when usually it is incredibly busy during morning rush hour.

A quiet A38 near Ivybridge in Devon. Credit: ITV News West Country

The entrance to Tregantle Beach in Cornwall, meanwhile, was virtually deserted.

The entrance to Tregantle Beach in Cornwall. Credit: Christopher Burns

The scene this morning was in stark contrast to the video footage captured at the weekend which showed dozens of cars parked in the road and people on the beach.

What are the new measures?

Under the new measures announced by the Government, people will only be allowed out of their homes for:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;

  • one form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household;

  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;

  • and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the West Country, including case numbers, event cancellations and venue closures, click here.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know