High streets, which would usually be teeming with last minute Christmas shoppers, were empty after all non-essential stores were told to close from midnight yesterday

ondon’s streets were deserted on Monday after thousands of people fled the capital over the weekend when new Tier 4 rules were introduced.

The underground was almost free of commuters with millions of Londoners obeying the Government’s “work from home” order.

High streets, which would usually be teeming with last minute Christmas shoppers, were empty after all non-essential stores were told to close from midnight on Sunday.

Oxford Street and Regents Street were largely desolate this morning and the majority of stores and restaurants were shut in London’s largest shopping centres in what would usually be one of the busiest weeks of the year.  

It comes after a mass exodus of the capital on Saturday night and Sunday morning as the Government banned travel from Tier 4 areas over Christmas and people rushed to beat a 48-hour ban on flights from Britain to Ireland.

Trains from Kings Cross to the North East were sold out on Saturday night as people desperately tried to get home to families for the festive period.  

One traveller described an “exodus of Irish” as crowds queued at Heathrow hoping to catch the final flight of the evening to Dublin.

The Irish Government gave the green light to a last minute later  flight, described as a “Christmas miracle” by one traveller.

In Dover, there were similar scenes as passengers attempted to cross the Channel before the UK-French border was closed amid concerns about rising Covid-19 cases and a new strain of the virus.

France is also among a number of European countries to implement travel restrictions in the wake of a new mutant strain of coronavirus sweeping through South East England.

The new variant of the virus is potentially 70 per cent more transmittable according to early data.

Passengers who were planning to travel for Christmas who have cancelled their plans  will have their train and coach bookings refunded, the Government has announced.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said customers will not be “left out of pocket” for “doing the right thing” amid the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions across the UK.

Cash refunds will be provided for cancelled rail and coach bookings in England for the previous Christmas travel win-dow of December 23 to 27, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

Tickets will only be refunded if they were purchased after the travel window was announced on November 24 and before it was amended on December 19.

Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiWmh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LnN0YW5kYXJkLmNvLnVrL25ld3MvbG9uZG9uL2xvbmRvbi1lbXB0eS1waWN0dXJlcy1jaHJpc3RtYXMtdGllci00LWI0MjEyMDUuaHRtbNIBXmh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LnN0YW5kYXJkLmNvLnVrL25ld3MvbG9uZG9uL2xvbmRvbi1lbXB0eS1waWN0dXJlcy1jaHJpc3RtYXMtdGllci00LWI0MjEyMDUuaHRtbD9hbXA?oc=5

News – London’s streets deserted after mass exodus of the capital