The Bullring in Birmingham during the nationwide lockdown in March 29 (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

2 years since the first Covid-19 lockdown: incredible photos of Birmingham showing ‘unprecedented times’

England is today marking two years since the first government-imposed lockdown

Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 7:00 am

Today (23 March) marks two years since the first coronavirus lockdown began in England.

The Prime Minister imposed the county’s first lockdown to combat Covid-19 in March 2020.

Since the pandemic gripped the UK two years ago, there have been more than 20 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK, and more than 163,000 deaths.

In Birmingham, there have been 3,677 deaths recorded since the pandemic began, and 326,918 cases.

On 16 March 2020, the public were told to avoid non-essential travel and advised to work from home.

A couple of days later on 18 March, schools were ordered to shut from 20 March, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.

The hospitality sector was next to be affected, when restaurants, cafes and pubs were told to close, before Mr Johnson announced the first nationwide lockdown during a televised statement on 23 March, in which he said people will only be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons, including daily exercise and trips to essential shops.

All non-essential shops also had to shut.

When restrictions were implemented, everyone, for the most part, was suddenly confined to their homes, and the streets were left deserted.

Looking back now, March 2020 and the months that followed were dominated with uncertainty as the NHS tried to deal with a completely new and deadly virus.

In the UK, thousands of lives have been lost to the virus, but now, two years on - with the help of vaccines - the country, and much of Europe, has now largely returned to normal life, but the country won’t forget those who succumbed to Covid-19.

To mark the two-year anniversary, we’ve put together some photos of Birmingham which were taken during the first and second coronavirus lockdowns showing just how far things have changed from those ‘unprecedented times’.

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