Eerie before-and-after photos show public spaces emptied out around the world amid the coronavirus panic

  • The rapidly spreading coronavirus has cause people to avoid public spaces, self-quarantine, and cancel travel plans around the world.
  • Governments have put cities on lockdown, created containment zones, closed schools, and barred people from gathering in large spaces.
  • Eerie before-and-after photos show how the COVID-19 has left typically bustling areas around the world completely empty.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the coronavirus continues to ravage through countries, people are becoming increasingly careful not to gather in large spaces. 

So far, the virus has infected nearly 125,000 people and killed 4,500. Governments around the world have issued increasingly restrictive policies, including putting cities on lockdown, banning large gatherings, and urging people to stay home. 

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization officially declared the virus a global pandemic. As concerns continue to rise throughout the world, public spaces such as sporting stadiums, plazas, airports, religious sites, and theaters have been left abandoned. 

These eerie photos show how the coronavirus is impacting communities around the world.

BEFORE: The Kaaba in Saudi Arabia plays a vital role in the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It's considered the holiest site in Islam and attracts millions of worshipers each year.

Source: Business Insider

AFTER: But on March 5, the Kaaba was completely emptied for sanitation amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Source: Business Insider

BEFORE: Crowds of dedicated fans gather at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain to watch football matches throughout the season.

AFTER: But the stadium closed its doors to fans on March 3, after the Spanish government announced it wanted to avoid large gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sources: The Daily Mail, Bleacher Report

BEFORE: Large crowds gather in Milan's Central Station, the biggest train station in the city. The station connects travelers to cities all throughout Italy, and up to 320,000 people pass through it daily.

Source: Italia Rail

AFTER: But on March 9, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a nationwide lockdown, ordering citizens to stay home, avoid public spaces, and to only travel if granted specific permission.

Source: Business Insider

BEFORE: The Piazza del Duomo is the biggest attraction in Milan, with over five million visitors each year.

Source: Business Insider

AFTER: But the famous Piazza has remained eerily empty following a nationwide lockdown that restricts people from gathering in public spaces.

Source: Business Insider

BEFORE: Vittorio Veneto square is the largest square located in Turin, Italy, a city in the northern region of the country. The square attracts bustling crowds of visitors and event gatherings daily.

Source: Blink Travel Guide

AFTER: But as the coronavirus outbreak worsened in Italy, few people gathered in the square.

BEFORE: Rome's Piazza Navona is a popular attraction for tourists and Italians alike, containing a trove of sculptures, fountains, and businesses.

Source: Italy Guides

AFTER: But an ariel photo of the Piazza in early March showed that gatherings had severely dwindled as a result of the coronavirus scare.

BEFORE: The shrine of Saint Imam Abdul Azim is an important religious destination for Shiite Muslims in Tehran, Iran.

Source: Iran Route

AFTER: But the shrine was closed down on March 7 for workers to disinfect the building as Iran's coronavirus cases surged. The country is now the third-most-infected in the world.

Source: Business Insider

BEFORE: The Spanish Steps in Rome are a UNESCO World Heritage site, and attract millions of visitors each year.

Source: Business Insider

AFTER: But as coronavirus cases worsened and the Italian government issued a widespread lockdown, the cultural site has been left largely abandoned.

Source: Business Insider

BEFORE: Venice is typically littered with tourists taking gondola rides, strolling through cobblestone streets, and taking photos outside of quaint cafes.

Source: Business Insider

AFTER: But as the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread across the country, the city has become emptied of its normal activity, leaving gondoliers to anxiously await new costumers.

Source: Business Insider

BEFORE: The shrine of Imamzadeh Saleh is a breathtaking pilgrimage site in Tehran, Iran. The shrine is one of the oldest and most famous in the city and is widely visited each day.

Source: Alaedin Travel

AFTER: But as Iran struggles to contain its coronavirus outbreak, the shrine has closed to undergo disinfection treatments to prevent the spread of disease.

BEFORE: Times Square in New York City is a major tourist attraction, with hundreds and thousands of people enjoying its bright lights, Broadway shows, street performers, restaurants and shops.

Source: New York Times

AFTER: But as the coronavirus outbreak gets worse throughout the city, fewer people have been inclined to travel through this typically crowded hub.

BEFORE: The National Theater in Prague is a popular attraction for performances in Opera, Drama, Ballet and Laterna Magika.

Source: The National Theater

AFTER: But following the coronavirus spread throughout the region, the theater has closed its doors and canceled all performances through March 17.

Source: National Theater

BEFORE: The Colosseum in Rome is a Unesco world heritage site and typically receives up to 7.4 million visitors a year.

Source:Business Insider

AFTER: But it has remained largely empty since coronavirus outbreaks have worsened in the country.

Source:Business Insider

BEFORE: Singapore's Chinatown is a popular destination for tourists and locals to eat,visit museums, and tour through temples.

Source: The Culture Trip 

AFTER: But as fears of being in crowded spaces are heightened amidst the coronavirus outbreak, tourism in the area has declined.

BEFORE: Gimpo international airport is one of the largest international airports in Seoul, South Korea.

Source: Gimpo International Airport

AFTER: But as travel restrictions increase during the coronavirus outbreak, photos of empty airports have become more frequent.

BEFORE: Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul is the world's largest religious congregation, with over 700,000 parishioners.

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

AFTER: But the church has canceled its usual sermons during the coronavirus outbreak, and has opted to put services online instead.

Source: The Straits Times

BEFORE: Tokyo Dome stadium was the first all-weather, multi-purpose stadium built in Japan. It can hold a total of 55,000 people and attracts massive crowds of people for sporting events, concerts and exhibitions.

Source:Tokyo Dome

AFTER: But the city has barred Japanese baseball fans from entering the stadium during all 72 preseason games, in an attempt to halt the coronavirus.

Source: New York Post

BEFORE: Charles Bridge in Prague is the oldest bridge in the city and one of its most famous tourist attractions.


AFTER: But following the Czech Republic's decision to ban all events and gatherings of 100 or more people, the popular tourist destination has been left empty.


BEFORE: St. Peter's Square is located in Vatican City and has attracted up to 300,000 people for religious gatherings and events.


AFTER: But the Vatican announced it would close down the square until April 3, in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Vatican News

BEFORE: The Louvre museum in Paris is the most visited gallery in the world, and home to one of the most famous paintings: the Mona Lisa.

Source: Business Insider

AFTER: But on March 1, the museum announced it would close to the public, to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.

Source: Business Insider

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