Has coronavirus fear struck shoppers and sports fans around England?

has coronavirus fear struck shoppers and sports fans around england - Has coronavirus fear struck shoppers and sports fans around England?Image copyright AFP
Image caption Some shoppers on London’s Oxford Street wore face masks

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise, so too does the the impact on daily life around England. BBC News looks at how people up and down the country have been responding.

View from the shops

Concerns about crowds certainly seem to have struck shoppers, with a number of shopping centres and high streets noticeably quieter than an average Saturday.

Birmingham’s bull was kitted out in full St Patrick’s Day garb but the usual selfie-taking shoppers gathered around the local landmark were nowhere to be seen.

The city’s Bullring shopping centre was markedly quieter than usual early on Saturday.

Image caption Fewer shoppers have been visiting Birmingham’s Bullring

In London, there were still plenty of shoppers in the capital’s major retail areas like Oxford Street, but things were quieter.

The same goes for tourism hotspots like Buckingham Palace where visitors could be seen taking in the sights wearing face masks.

London’s public transport system – known for its rush hour crowds – has been emptier in recent days.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Street performers had fewer people to entertain in Trafalgar Square

Retailers in Above Bar, Southampton’s main shopping street, said they had been feeling the impact.

Boots optician Carol Betts said five of her patients had cancelled on Saturday morning, which she put down to fears about close contact.

“I haven’t seen any patients for more than two hours.

“We can’t keep hand sanitiser in the store for love nor money – as soon as you put it out, it’s gone.”

Image caption Optician Carol Betts said many people had cancelled appointments with her

Stall owner Vinnie Singh said footfall was down and blamed news coverage.

“You can see it today. The media is making it sound worse. Scaring and frightening people is not the way forward,” he said.

Image caption Longsands Fish Kitchen in Tynemouth said it was very much business as usual for them

On the other hand, in the coastal resort of Tynemouth in North Tyneside, the outbreak does not seem to have deterred the weekend crowds.

Longsands Fish Kitchen said it was very much business as usual, with a “lot of footfall at both the restaurant and the takeaway”.

While there had been a few cancellations, the spaces had “very quickly filled up”, they said.

Image caption York city centre has been quieter during the week but was busy with shoppers on Saturday

Meanwhile many are reporting that their local supermarkets are being hit by panic buying.

View from the sports grounds

For some, Saturday is a day for sport – whether playing or watching.

But with all professional football suspended, Saturday’s biggest sporting event in London was Sutton United’s clash with Hartlepool United.

A bumper crowd turned up for the game, with some of those in attendance saying they had done so because other matches they were due to go to had been cancelled.

The National League announced on Friday that fixtures in its three divisions will go ahead as planned.

Sutton chairman, Bruce Elliot, said he thought it would have a “serious affect on us, other football clubs and other businesses as well” had the game been cancelled.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption No football will be played at Tottenham Hotspur’s £1bn stadium this weekend…
Image caption But Gander Green Lane will still be welcoming fans to Sutton

In the East Midlands Notts County fan Iris Smith said she was “not nervous” about going to watch her team play Eastleigh as “the virus could get us anywhere”.

She extended an invite to fans of city rivals Nottingham Forest to visit Meadow Lane after their match against Sheffield Wednesday was called off. However, not all seemed to be that keen.

AFC Fylde’s match against Aldershot is also going ahead, with the Peters family from St Annes among those attending.

“As long as school is open, we are going to carry on as normal,” they said.

Image caption The Peters family were among those attending FC Fylde’s match against Aldershot

With no live match to provide a tweet commentary for, Leyton Orient decided to take an alternative route.

Away from football, the Badminton All England Championships in Birmingham and the first rounds of the boxing Olympic qualifiers at London’s Copper Box Arena both went ahead as planned..

Organisers said the annual Bath half marathon would take place on Sunday because it was “too late to cancel or postpone the event”.

View from the countryside

Image caption Borderway UK Dairy Expo in Carlisle is the largest event of its kind in the country

A major agricultural show in Cumbria has gone ahead, albeit with reduced attendance.

Borderway UK Dairy Expo in Carlisle is the largest of its type in the country, featuring hundreds of dairy cattle and dozens of trade stands reflecting all sectors of the industry.

There was a huge drop in the number of farmers and exhibitors attending – an estimated 1,000 instead of the usual 5,000 – and there are concerns for the future.

David Pritchard, joint managing director of Harrison and Hetherington which organises the show, said: “Looking ahead it’s going to be very difficult. The summer shows do look in jeopardy.

“We’ve got a big event in November which we’ll be closely looking at for the next few months.”

Image caption Many public buildings are offering increased hand washing and sanitising facilities

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