Covid lockdown four years on: Videos recall empty streets and panic buying on anniversary

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Here’s a look back at some videos from the first Covid lockdown, four years on from when Boris Johnson ordered the UK to 'stay at home' on 23 March 2020.

On the 23 March 2020, Boris Johnson told people they must stay at home, and our video above shows how Preston coped in the months ahead. Here are some more videos that show the early scenes of the first Covid lockdown across the UK.

Stockpiling toilet rolls

Supermarkets ran out of essential items as the public stockpiled hand sanitiser and toilet roll.

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People flocked to the supermarkets first thing in the morning, in a desperate attempt to fill their cupboards with essentials.

Customers were faced with empty shelves, as early birds filled their trollies with toilet roll and tinned goods, uncertain of how long the lockdown measures would last.

Social distancing

Shoppers were ordered to leave a 2m gap while queuing and walking around stores, to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Seaside resorts fell silent

An eerie quiet fell over Whitby when the seaside town went into lockdown.

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Resort towns across the UK missed out on the usual crowds of tourists, with closed attractions and empty beaches.

This was how the Yorkshire coast looked at the start of lockdown.

Nurses raise morale

Staff in hospitals were working round the clock to treat Covid 19 patients.

Nurses, doctors and other key workers found ways to keep spirits up - by dancing and sharing entertaining videos on social media.

This is one example from St James' Hospital in Leeds.

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Empty streets

Burnley town centre was eerily quiet when it went into lockdown.

The scenes below echoed normally bustling towns and cities across the UK.

While streets would usually be packed with shoppers, and roads full of cars driving to work, the whole country was ordered to 'stay at home'.

Only 'essential' workers could go to a place of work. Offices, restaurants and all non-essential shots were forced to close.

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When did the first lockdown end?

Starting in May 2020, the laws were slowly relaxed. People were permitted to leave home for outdoor recreation (beyond exercise) from 13 May. On 1 June, the restriction on leaving home was replaced with a requirement to be home overnight, and people were permitted to meet outside in groups of up to six people.

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