Edinburgh roads eerily quiet in rush hour as coronavirus lockdown begins

Only essential travel is allowed.

Commuter roads around Edinburgh have fallen silent as a UK-wide lockdown comes into force.

Few vehicles can be seen on the M8 and other trunk roads at rush hour.

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Residents are still allowed to travel on the roads, but only for ‘essential’ needs such as key workers travelling to work they cannot do at home.

The M8 at Hermiston GaitThe M8 at Hermiston Gait
The M8 at Hermiston Gait
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UK coronavirus lockdown: Nicola Sturgeon's speech to Scotland in full

Under a new lockdown announced last night all non-essential shops will close, with food shops, pharmacies allowed to remain open.

Increased police patrols will enforce the measures, which will come into law when emergency coronavirus legislation is passed later this week.

People have been told not to leave their homes, apart from to get supplies such as food and medicine, to do essential work, or to exercise, alone and no more than once a day.

The M8 at Linlithgow this morningThe M8 at Linlithgow this morning
The M8 at Linlithgow this morning

Gatherings of more than two people have been banned.

“Let me be blunt, the stringent restrictions on our normal day to day lives that I am about to set out are difficult and they are unprecedented,” said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a nationwide address.

“They amount effectively to what has been described as a lockdown.

The M8 this morning.The M8 this morning.
The M8 this morning.

“I know how difficult all of that is and I am not going to seek to sugarcoat it in any way, but these measures are essential for the protection of all of us.

Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of our lifetimes and the measures we take to tackle it must reflect the magnitude of that.”