Coronavirus: Striking photos show cities returning to normal after lockdown

Easing restrictions bring people back to previously-empty streets

Kate Ng
Tuesday 02 June 2020 10:13

As the coronavirus pandemic led to cities all over the world to going into lockdown, the stark emptiness of streets and roads devoid of people and traffic became one of the most visually striking evidence of the impact the virus had on daily life.

But now, some locations are seeing people return in droves as governments attempt to lift the lockdown and allow life to resume.

From beaches in the UK to gardens in France and central business districts in Indonesia, members of the public have started proliferating spaces that were left empty during lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus.

Countries that have eased their lockdowns have done so with strict social distancing caveats in place, urging people to continue practicing good hygiene and to avoid crowds wherever possible.

But keeping people away from each other may be a more difficult task than it seems. Over the hot weekend, people flocking to beaches in the UK were packed closely together in some places despite councils and authorities pleading with them to stay two metres apart.

Tuileries garden, Paris

In Paris, the popular Tuileries Garden drew crowds of people when it reopened on Sunday after shutting its gates some two and a half months ago.

The garden is part of a phased reopening of major cultural institutions and will be followed by the famous Louvre museum, which is planning to reopen to the public on 6 July.

(AFP via Getty

France was badly affected by Covid-19, recording 152,000 cases and 28,802 deaths. But a steady decline in case numbers has given the French government to ease lockdown restrictions.

Across the world, in Jakarta, a partial lockdown saw the closures of offices, schools, places of worship and public spaces. Inter-regional travel within Indonesia was restricted and police patrolled the streets to keep order.

But several regions have decided not to extend the partial lockdown, with Indonesian president Jokowi Widodo calling instead for people to adapt to a “new normal”, reported The Jakarta Post.


The sprawling archipelagic country has recorded 26,940 coronavirus cases, with 1,641 deaths.

Hungary began easing coronavirus restrictions in Budapest in mid-May, allowing residents to return to shops and travel on public transport as long as they wore face masks and maintain social distancing.


Images of Romai Part, a riverside beach in the capital, show people relaxing on socially-distanced lounge chairs which stood empty less than a month ago.

The Hungarian government declared a state of emergency on 11 March, one week after its first confirmed case of coronavirus was reported. It has since confirmed 3,892 cases of Covid-19, with 527 deaths.

Main square in Pristina, Kosovo

There were similar scenes along the Am Alten Strom promenade, in Warnemunde, Germany, as dozens of people returned to stroll in the sun by the sea.

Warnemuende, Germany,  (Reuters)

Despite an uptick in new coronavirus cases reported on 13 May, German officials pressed ahead with easing restrictions and reopened all border crossings with France, Austria and Switzerland on 15 May.

There have been 183,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 8,605 deaths.

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