Scotland

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.

Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption "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.
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption A grocery store worker has a smoke break on an almost empty Rose Street
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption New bus stop posters implore residents to stay home and limit their time outdoors
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption Waverley station was mostly closed to pedestrian traffic except to access platforms directly, and few commuters were boarding trains at rush hour.
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption Charlotte (left) and Rebecca (right) are both Edinburgh University art students, specifically studying silver smithing and requiring specialised work spaces.
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption 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.
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption 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.
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption Other signs celebrate NHS workers – even if the hope is that few people actually get to read them and are at home.
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption Princes Street Gardens were open, but empty apart from a solitary pedestrian in the distance, out for his daily exercise.
Image copyright Christopher Bobyn
Image caption "The curtain will rise again", reads a sign at the closed Festival Theatre. Its darkened windows reflect an empty Nicolson Street and café chairs.