Coronavirus turns tourist hotspots into ghost towns
From New York to Paris, global tourist destinations are now desolate amid to the coronavirus pandemic.
The newest ghost towns?
Times Square, which usually sees nearly 380,000 pedestrians each day, was much quieter than usual. New York City has closed bars, restaurants, and theaters to help slow the spread of COVID-19. “From the last week, all the business is gone down, no money, no people, no tourists, nothing these days.”, Omar, a street vendor, says. Grand Central Terminal, a major transportation hub, was also nearly deserted.
The Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, closed on March 13, 2020 for an indefinite period of time. Streets in Paris usually bustling with people were practically empty after a 15-day confinement period began in France. People can only go out to buy basic necessities, get medical care, or go to work.
Pope Francis walked along the empty streets of Rome to pray for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The Vatican said its traditional Easter week celebrations will be held without the public for the first time. Italy has been under lockdown since March 9, 2020 and has had the most deaths from COVID-19 outside of China.
In the Czech Republic…
The Czech Republic is under quarantine until at least March 24. Prague’s popular Charles Bridge is nearly empty. People are banned from leaving their homes except for work or emergencies. Stanislav Traxmandl, a Prague resident, stated, “We are at home now. It's the first day of quarantine and also the first day Czech TV started a new program to continue school education. We are grateful we can continue the education of our daughter.”
Jerusalem’s holy sites only now allow groups of up to 10 people. The Old City was empty after Israel closed tourist sites and restaurants and ordered all foreigners to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Tzoghig Karakashian, the co-owner of a pottery workshop, concluded, “Especially today it's the first day that still we don't have anyone (client) at all. Before yesterday, Saturday, we had people passing by but not stopping because they were afraid, and now no one, you can see, there's nobody.”