Then and now: How coronavirus turned the world’s busiest cities into ghost towns –

They're infamous for their hordes of tourists, but the likes of Rome, Venice and Disneyland are eerily quiet this week

The threat of coronavirus has achieved the impossible: it has emptied Venice's campi, banished Paris's crowds, and turned Bangkok into a ghost town. See the world's travel hotspots as you've never seen them before...

The usually-bustling streets of Rome were deathly quiet this week and the area around the Colosseum, one of the city's most popular attractions, was virtually deserted.

The Roman ruins are enjoying some respite from the regular queues.

Piazza Navona, another tourist hotspot, was spookily silent this week.

Italy is among the worst affected countries with more than 2,000 cases and 52 deaths, mostly in the country's northern Lombardy region.

Where is everyone? A handful of tourists sit outside the Colosseum.

The coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy has so overwhelmed the public health system that officials are seeking to bring doctors out of retirement and accelerate graduation dates for nursing students. Here's what Venice usually looks like:

Now there are empty tables in the usually-heaving Piazza San Marco.

For all who work in Venice's tourism industry including the famous gondoliers these quiet times are worrying.

Usually, up to 30 million tourists arrive in Venice each year. Murano island, pictured here, is one of the city's most visited attractions.

Milan is also ghostly quiet this week. At the weekend, the luxurious boutiques at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele IIshoppingmall were deserted.

Here's what the city usually looks like:

Now its restaurants are struggling to make ends meet.

Are you booked to visit Italy? For the latest travel advice following the coronavirus outbreak, see our guide.

In France, theLouvre Museumremains closed this week and officials are unsure when it will reopen. Amid concerns over the spread ofcoronavirus, staff voted to stand down at the weekend forcing the 227-year-old cultural institute to shut.

Usually, getting a glimpse of the Mona Lisa requires seriously sharp elbows.

It's currently impossible, while the rest of Paris is unusually quiet.

A spokesperson from the Louvre told Telegraph Travel on Monday that it is "still closed" and, in response to questioning over when it will reopen: "We don't know". Are Britain's museums next?

Usually overrun with22.7 million visitors every year, the city of Bangkok has been remarkably quiet this week. The Grand Palace and surrounding temples are top of every visitor's hitlist but the threat of coronavirus is keeping the crowds at bay.

Here's the usual appearance of the city:

Bangkok's public transport system like the riverboats pictured here are also much quieter than usual.

In Chinatown, Yaowarat Road is experiencing a moment of respite from its usual hordes.

Just outside Bangkok, the resort city of Pattaya is jam-packed with hotels, malls and restaurants but this week, a handful of tourists have the beach to themselves.

And Pattaya Water Park, popular with Chinese visitors, is deserted.

Japan's cherry blossom season sees tourists, both local and international, flock to its blooming parks and gardens. But this year, though it's still early in the season, the crowds are diminished and face masks are more prevalent than ever.

Here's Kyoto before the outbreak:

Now the country is struggling to attract tourists.

Tokyo train station isn't its usual bustling hub.

Many large-scale public events have been cancelled in Japan.Japan's professional baseball league announced it wouldplay its 72 remaining pre-season games in empty stadiums because of the threat of the virus.

In Tokyo, a horse race at Oi Racecourse was also held without spectators.

Is it safe to visit Japan? See our latest travel advice following the coronavirus outbreak.

Disney parks across Asia have closed temporarily in an effort to contain the virus like Shanghai Disneyland, which closed its doors on 25 January and is yet to reopen.

It usually looks like this:

Face masks and fancy dress: visitors to Tokyo Disneyland are taking extra precautions.

Meanwhile, the gates of Hong Kong Disneyland remain firmly shut.

Staff have been giving the park a scrub-down while it is closed to visitors. A reopening date has yet to be announced.

Read the rest here:

Then and now: How coronavirus turned the world's busiest cities into ghost towns -

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