Bournemouth Coronavirus Lockdown
A deserted Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth – 6th April 2020.
Day 14 of COVID-19 lockdown – Bournemouth
Today I went for a cycle ride to Bournemouth. It was a beautiful, sunny day, quite warm with little wind. I wasn’t sure how many people would be about, but was prepared to turn around and go home if it was busy. In fact, it wasn’t, so it seems as if most are heeding the government’s request to stay at home unless exercising or supermarket shopping.
Bournemouth is now effectively shut to locals and visitors, apart from a few essential shops being open, such as banks. All the car parks near the beach and in Bournemouth town centre are closed, which has helped to keep people away. Also, there are no public lavatories open, either along the seafront or in the town itself.
I’m pleased to report that Bournemouth town was pretty empty; just a few people here and there, a postman, a skateboarder, and most of the others were people were walking on their own.
I did spot a large family setting out a picnic on the wall in front of their black Range Rover, which was parked in a small car park around the back of the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC). They seemed oblivious to the government’s pleas for people not to drive to beauty spots, or picnic at them.
Now, I should point out that obviously I stopped to take photos whilst on my ride. Some people will no doubt ask what gives me that right, say that I should have kept moving all the time, or not even gone to Bournemouth. Well, actually, I do have a right. I’m a freelance photographer with a valid NUJ (National Union of Journalists) press card, meaning I can legitimately report on news relating to COVID-19.
As the NUJ have pointed out, a press card is not a passport out of self isolation and we are also obliged to look after our own safety and that of others. In fact I’ve barely been out since the lockdown started, save for supermarket shopping, going for the odd bike ride and occasional walks. Cycling to Bournemouth is actually the furthest I’ve been since this all started.
Of course, I don’t consider myself in the same league as our brave NHS workers, supermarket staff, delivery drivers or anybody like that but, nonetheless, I am allowed to gather news relating to coronavirus.
Anyway, on with the photos.