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Coronavirus: Dover town centre on first day of Boris Johnson's thee-week lockdown

This is Dover, 2020.

The eerie quiet in the town centre shows one of the most visible effects of the coronavirus emergency.

This is on the first day of the three-week lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night.

Nothing in the heart of the town:Market Square
Nothing in the heart of the town:Market Square

The pictures Kent Online took, between 3pm and 4pm today, show the seafront, original town centre and St James' Retail and Leisure Park almost completely abandoned.

The only signs of life are the occasional individuals and pairs of people walking past.

This was despite glorious summer-like sunshine.

Here social distancing takes care of itself as there is hardly anyone to meet.

The car park at St James' looks like a desert with almost no vehicles there.

Desert. An almost entirely empty section of the St James' car park
Desert. An almost entirely empty section of the St James' car park
Last cars standing. St James' today
Last cars standing. St James' today

The few shops open include places selling food such as The Food Warehouse and Marks & Spencer.

Outlets such as the bakery Greggs are demanding card payment only.

The disappearance of life in the town centre had speeded up on Saturday, just after Mr Johnson had ordered the closure of pubs, restaurants and cafés.

Only take-away services were allowed, which gave places like cafés some leeway.

Costa in Biggin Street therefore left its floor bare of tables and chairs and and insisted that take-away food and drink could only been paid by card.

Eerie: an abandoned Biggin Street
Eerie: an abandoned Biggin Street
Cannon Street with the closed down Eight Bells and Subway
Cannon Street with the closed down Eight Bells and Subway
Ian Dalziel on an empty Dover seafront
Ian Dalziel on an empty Dover seafront

A help at keeping people at home during the emergency is many people find they have nowhere to go.

On the seafront the new Marina Pier was still open and one of the few walkers was Ian Dalziel, 89, a hovercraft pilot at Dover from 1968 to 1996.

He said: "It's like summer today and nobody is around."

He seemed untroubled about the virus, commenting: "I'm an old sea dog,"

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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