A year on: How the streets of Leeds looked when the first Covid lockdown began

Today marks a year since the first coronavirus lockdown.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:51 am
Police patrol Briggate on horses during the first lockdown

On March 23 2020, the nation watched as Boris Johnson told everyone to stay at home for the first time.

Non-essential shops were closed, gyms locked up their doors and people packed up their desks to work from home.

No one could have predicted what was to come, or that we'd still be under lockdown a year later.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Normally busy with shoppers, Albion Street was deserted as Trinity Leeds and all non-essential shops closed their doors for the first time

The pandemic has turned our world upside down and more than 1,600 deaths with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate have now been recorded in Leeds.

As we mark the National Day of Reflection, we take a look back at the empty streets of Leeds when the city was first plunged into lockdown.

Pictures by Rebecca Marano and Jonathan Gawthorpe.

An almost-empty Millennium Square on the first day of lockdown
It was a stark sight to see Leeds' bustling streets so empty
Police patrolled Briggate on horses, making sure people obeyed the stay at home order
Albion Street was deserted at lunchtime, as officer workers packed up their desks to work from home
Non-essential travel was banned for the first time, meaning that City Square, usually bustling with commuters from Leeds Station, was empty
A deserted Granary Wharf
People were only allowed to leave their homes for exercise once a day during the first lockdown, or for essential trips such as supermarkets
Benches in Trinity Leeds were taped off as we adhered to social distancing measures for the first time
Police on patrol near an empty Albion Street
Only the pigeons were left on City Square
Park Row
Leeds' art galleries, museums and libraries were closed for the first time
Nightclubs such as PRYZM closed their doors in March - and have not reopened since
As evening fell on the first full day of lockdown, Call Lane - usually bustling with people enjoying a night out in the city - was deserted