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8 Apr 2020 4:56
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  •   Home > News > International

    Coronavirus before-and-after images show popular tourism hot spots deserted

    Across the globe, populations are locking down and steering well clear of popular landmarks — the result is a haunting set of satellite images.

    Worldwide, there are more than 450,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and one-third of the global population is on lockdown.

    Australia's Bondi Beach debacle might have led you to think that lockdowns and physical distancing procedures weren't being taken seriously by tourists around the world.

    But these satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies suggest some popular sites are being deserted, as countries seek to limit the spread of the virus.

    The United States

    At the time of writing, there were more than 60,000 people in the US with confirmed cases of coronavirus, with a death toll of 819.

    State-ordered social distancing and quarantine measures are in place for almost a third of the country.

    Santa Monica Pier in California is ordinarily open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is a famous bustling hub of activity. But on March 16, the pier closed, leaving the boardwalk eerily empty.

    The popular Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood has also stopped taking visitors, closing from March 14 through to April 19,

    Satellite images taken in November last year and March 22 show the normally busy theme park empty.


    The Indian Prime Minister called for a three-week nationwide shutdown earlier this week after the number of cases rose to 519.

    But almost a week before the government made that call, the Taj Mahal was already desolate.


    Italy is facing one of the world's worst coronavirus crises and is often cited as a warning of what could happen to other countries if they don't take strict action to slow the spread of the virus.

    On March 9, with over 9,000 cases, Italy became the first country to implement a nationwide lockdown. It's little wonder then that the Colosseum, almost two weeks later, is completely empty.

    Other parts of Italy's ancient capital city have also been emptied of visitors.

    The crowds that could be seen from space at St Peter's Square in Rome in late February are long gone now.


    © 2020 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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