This was the scene on Aberdeen city centre streets yesterday as north-east residents heeded a new order to stay home in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
As the number of people who have died as a result of Covid-19 rose in Scotland by two to 16 – and the number of Grampian cases stayed at 24 – north-east residents adapted to the new instructions designed to slow the spread of the virus.
Images show an empty Market Street during rush hour and just two cars on Wellington Road and Riverside Drive at 5pm.
Meanwhile, major shopping centres in the city announced they would be closing, keeping only essential stores open.
All stores in the Trinity Centre except Superdrug – classed as an essential service – pulled down the shutters.
A statement from the Trinity Centre said: “Following the government’s introduction of new tighter controls to fight the spread of Covid-19, we can confirm the Trinity Centre will be partially closed.
“Due to Superdrug providing essential goods and services including medication and hygiene supplies, we want to make sure our visitors are still able to gain access to these essentials.”
Argos said it would close its standalone stores but would keep branches open that are within Sainsbury’s – such as the Berryden Road outlet.
An Argos spokesman said: “Sneeze guards are being installed at our manned tills and counters.
“This will create a screen between the customer and the colleague to ensure that social distancing is maintained.
“We are strongly advising customers to order items from Argos through home delivery or instore collection, or they can be picked up while they are shopping in Sainsbury’s.”
Housebuilding company Cala Homes announced it has closed all sales offices.
Mike Naysmith, managing director for Cala Homes (North), said: “We have now temporarily closed all of our sales offices and show homes and sales staff are now working remotely.
“We are also stopping construction on sites as quickly as possible, in a safe and managed way.”
The Royal Bank of Scotland said it will remain open – but with limited opening hours.
A spokesman for the bank said: “Our branch network remains open from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm.
“Aligned to the relevant public health guidance, we have reviewed our opening hours to ensure we can cater for our colleagues who are absent, many of them self-isolating.
“Customers can continue to access their banking services through our other channels: Digital, mobile, cash machines, video banker, telephone and Post Office.
“We’re also proactively contacting elderly and vulnerable customers to help them meet their banking needs and this remains a priority.
“We have created a dedicated customer care team to support these customers.
“Our dedicated freephone telephone line will be open from 8am-8pm seven days a week.”
The bank usually sends a weekly mobile bank to towns and villages across the north-east, including to Keith, Buckie, Banff and Huntly.
It is understood the company is in talks with the Scottish Government and other public authorities to determine whether to continue operating the mobile banks for the time being.