Parks, markets and seafront busy on first weekend of Lockdown 2 as central London deserted with no Christmas shoppers

BRITS have thronged parks and beaches around the UK today – but central London was deserted on the first Saturday of England’s second national lockdown.

Bournemouth seafront was packed with visitors, while families enjoyed a walk in the sunshine at Hyde Park in London.

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NINTCHDBPICT000618886352ZenpixRunners made the most of the beautiful weather in Manchester today – as city centres were left deserted during the first weekend of lockdown[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618749141Bournemouth NewsAs shops closed, Bournemouth seafront was packed with visitors[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618749394 1Bournemouth NewsAll non-essential businesses have shut their doors until December[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618900121W8MEDIAThe closures have resulted in an exodus from city centres[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618892252 1GEOFF ROBINSON.But markets in Cambridge remained busy as residents made the most of the opportunity to shop[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618900382W8MEDIAHyde Park was also bustling today[/caption]

Markets in Cambridge were also busy – with little room for social distancing between stalls.

All shops selling clothes and electronics, as well as vehicle showrooms and travel agents, have been forced to shut down – just six weeks before Christmas.

The order has turned normally-bustling city centres into ghost towns – as Brits head elsewhere to make the most of the autumn sunshine.

It comes as new directives to stay at home unless exercising or for another essential reason take hold.

In Manchester, runners pounded a path beside the Bridgewater Canal.

Street stalls selling food and Christmas wreaths were busy in Cambridge, while families enjoyed feeding the ducks at parks across London.

Elsewhere in the capital, however, streets were deserted.

Oxford Street, which boasts 200million visitors a year and is Europe’s most popular shopping street, was one of the roads to fall eerily silent today.

There was little traffic near the flagship Topshop store – a stretch regularly jammed with buses, taxis and cyclists.

Affluent Regent Street, known for fashion stores and fine dining, was also quiet.

NINTCHDBPICT000618890592W8MEDIAHowever, city centres have been left deserted by the shutdown [/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618890682W8MEDIARoads in central London were quiet on the first weekend of a new national lockdown in England[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618890741W8MEDIAAnd Oxford Street – Europe’s busiest stretch for visitors – was eerily quiet[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618900548W8MEDIABrits unable to visit the shops headed out to make the most of the good weather [/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618560839Bournemouth NewsAffluent Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset was busy today[/caption]

And police confirmed they’d been alerted after photos of people buying goods at street stalls in Hackney, London were shared online.

Shoppers can still visit supermarkets, with no prohibitions on what they can buy.

Banks and post offices will stay open as well.

However, Brits are generally urged to remain at home – and those who do leave will face a £200 fine if they do so without a reason.

The new rules came into force just after midnight on Thursday.

Just hours after the law took hold, roads, Tubes and trains were packed with people heading to the office – despite calls to work from home.

And roads in the capital were gridlocked hours before the country was plunged into the lockdown as many tried to escape London.

Many also flocked to shops to try and do as much Christmas shopping as possible on Wednesday.

Bargain hunters waited in line outside a number of stores from 7.30am to indulge in some retail therapy before closures.

But not finding the perfect gift in time may be the least of Brits’ worries this Christmas.

Sage scientists want those who spent time with their families and friends this festive season to self-isolate two weeks afterwards to stop the spread of Covid.

Documents released by the group say the public should be given more advice on how to manage their risk when they’re meeting more people than usual.

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Officials say that if social gatherings do go ahead, people should be given advice on how to cut the risks of passing on the virus – including by staying at home for weeks afterwards.

And yesterday, it was reported that officials say Brits may have to wait until summer 2021 to enjoy a Christmas get-together.

Scientists suggested that “planning a summer family get together could replace meeting at Christmas”.

NINTCHDBPICT000618557139 1Jordan CrosbyMany headed to the shops on Wednesday to buy Christmas presents before the lockdown came into force [/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618733233 1ISO ImagesMany businesses will have to keep their doors closed until the lockdown ends[/caption] NINTCHDBPICT000618883976W8MEDIAAs a result, lots of Brits decided to get their gift shopping in as early as possible[/caption] Despite that, another 355 deaths were recorded in the UK yesterdayAnother 355 deaths were recorded in the UK yesterday – although experts say they believe the second wave is beginning to slow

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