Restaurants, shops and pubs remained closed in Leicester’s deserted centre, as the city stayed in lockdown despite a relaxation of the rules elsewhere in England.
Police patrolled the streets and the city’s railway station, leading to an atmosphere described as “very eerie”.
The only shoppers were found in the city’s market, which remains open.
Leicester became subject to the UK’s first local lockdown on Monday following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Anthony Worley, who lives in the city centre, said the city had felt as if it was “coming back to life” following the relaxing of the initial legislation but now felt “empty again”.
“It’s very eerie,” he said. He had booked the week off to go and visit his mother in Plymouth, whom he has not seen since Christmas.
“It was hard to tell her I wasn’t coming. It’s just not fair,” he said.
The only sign of activity in the streets was around the city’s open-air market, which remained open.
Dhansukh Rana, 79, was shopping for some fruit and vegetables at a stall with his wife.
“It’s really sad this is happening to Leicester,” he said. “A lot of people are suffering.
“We have to get out for our walk and exercise because, at my age, I have to keep moving but it is sad they have left out Leicester when the rest of the UK is moving on.”
Jessica Stone, 35, who lives in the city said she was heading to the bank before returning home.
“Normally on a Saturday, the city would be heaving by now,” she said.
She added she wondered if it was “too soon” for the government to be relaxing lockdown across the rest of England.
“It was too soon for us in Leicester and I wonder if other areas will have similar problems after the weekend and will be shutting back down,” she said.
“We definitely opened up too quickly so these local lockdowns could happen elsewhere.”
One officer at Leicester railway station said hardly anyone was attempting an unnecessary journey.
“Most people are adhering to [the lockdown],” he said.
On the scene: Sandish Shoker, BBC News Online
I’m standing on the high street which, on a normal Saturday, would have been bustling. There are no restaurants or cafes open – except for takeaways – and even the newsagents is shut.
It almost seems like a ghost town, which is what one lady called it when I spoke to her. People within the city centre seem to be observing the lockdown.
Outside the city, things are slowly returning to normal but Leicester remains at a standstill.
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