Coronavirus: The silent streets of Edinburgh


Edinburgh has fallen silent amid the nationwide lockdown designed to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Normally bustling Princes Street is nearly empty and only grocery stores and chemists are open.

For the few pedestrians about, there are new signs urging them to stay home and others celebrating NHS staff.

BBC Scotland’s Christopher Bobyn spent an afternoon documenting the city’s eerie new landscape.

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Christopher Bobyn

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“I feel like I’m in Sarajevo, running from invisible snipers,” said Sheena while out shopping for her housebound elderly mother. Sheena made her own face mask from a file folder, all others were sold out across Edinburgh.

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Christopher Bobyn

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A grocery store worker has a smoke break on an almost empty Rose Street

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Christopher Bobyn

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New bus stop posters implore residents to stay home and limit their time outdoors

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Christopher Bobyn

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Waverley station was mostly closed to pedestrian traffic except to access platforms directly, and few commuters were boarding trains at rush hour.

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Christopher Bobyn

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Charlotte (left) and Rebecca (right) are both Edinburgh University art students, specifically studying silver smithing and requiring specialised work spaces.

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Christopher Bobyn

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The economy has been hit hard, with all stores on George Street shut. Despite government assistance for some, the lockdown has put into question rent payments for homes and business spaces, long-term staff salaries and future job security.

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Christopher Bobyn

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The gloomy fog that blanketed the capital matched the desolate mood of the city, as the sounds of single pedestrians and empty buses echoed off empty streets and buildings.

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Christopher Bobyn

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Other signs celebrate NHS workers – even if the hope is that few people actually get to read them and are at home.

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Christopher Bobyn

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Princes Street Gardens were open, but empty apart from a solitary pedestrian in the distance, out for his daily exercise.

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Christopher Bobyn

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“The curtain will rise again”, reads a sign at the closed Festival Theatre. Its darkened windows reflect an empty Nicholson Street and café chairs.



BBC News

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