A year ago today, France and Spain went into lockdown

A year ago today, Britons were slowly starting to see the devastating impact of coronavirus.

While the country was still months away from the peak of its first wave in April, the UK’s daily Covid death toll of just 10 saw the total fatalities almost double overnight to 21.

Boris Johnson finally u-turned and banned mass gatherings, despite revellers packing into the highly-criticized Cheltenham Festival just days earlier.

While draconian lockdown measures weren’t on the cards quite yet, Britons watched on as their European neighbours – who were already suffering devastating Covid losses – had their freedoms curbed.

In France, all non-essential public locations such as restaurants, shops and cafés were closed as their coronavirus death toll soared to 91.

Meanwhile in Spain – where 120 people had died of Covid and over 5,700 were infected – residents were banned from leaving their homes except for work or to buy groceries.

Back in the UK, terrified shoppers rushed to stockpile goods on March 14, with hordes of Britons stripping the nation’s food and toilet roll aisles bare.  

Trolleys were seen piled high with tinned products and essentials by shoppers who queued for hours outside, as Britons braced to bunker down at home after Boris Johnson urged anyone with a cough to self-isolate.

So desperate were Britons becoming, that a 56-year-old shopper told MailOnline how he was mugged for his toilet paper in broad daylight, just moments after leaving a store in Harringay, north London. 

And in a disturbing sign that the UK’s epidemic was spiralling quicker than anyone feared, then-President Donald Trump extended the United States’ travel ban to include Britain – to kick in at midnight the following day.

In the ten days leading up to one-year of lockdown, MailOnline has been looking back on those last days of precious freedom.

March 14, 2020: Covid-19 deaths almost double overnight to 21 as 10 patients die

The UK recorded a further ten deaths on March 14, 2020, sending its total death toll almost doubling overnight to 21

The UK recorded a further ten deaths on March 14, 2020, sending its total death toll almost doubling overnight to 21

The UK recorded a further ten deaths on March 14, 2020, sending its total death toll almost doubling overnight to 21 

The UK recorded a further ten deaths on March 14, 2020, sending its total death toll almost doubling overnight to 21. 

Professor Chris Whitty said all ten ‘were in the at-risk groups’. Meanwhile, the UK’s total caseload hit 1,140.

The 10 deaths recorded on that day was the highest total since the UK started announcing daily Covid death figures on March 5.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Speaking at the time, Mr Whitty said: ‘I am sorry to confirm 10 further patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 in England have died.

‘All 10 individuals were in the at risk groups. I understand this increase in the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 will be a cause for concern for many.

‘The public should know every measure we are taking is seeking to save lives and protect the most vulnerable.

‘Every single one of us has a role to play in achieving this. If you have a new continuous cough or high temperature, please stay at home for seven days.

‘I also encourage everyone to be washing their hands for 20 seconds regularly.

‘I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends who have received this difficult news. I ask that their privacy is respected at this time.’

March 14, 2020: PM announces mass gatherings will be banned to curb spread

Boris Johnson said all mass gatherings and sports events would be banned from the following weekend – just days after thousands of people flocked to the highly-criticized Cheltenham Festival.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Worried Britons watched as key events such as the Glastonbury Festival, VE Day commemorations, Chelsea Flower Show, Wimbledon tennis championships, the Grand National and Royal Ascot were put under threat.

Sports bodies had already confirmed the postponement of the London Marathon, the suspension of Premier League football matches and the cancellation of the England cricket team’s Sri Lanka tour.

Just days earlier, Mr Johnson had  flatly refused to replicate the stronger action being taken by other countries to curb big gatherings.

Boris Johnson (pictured on March 14, 2020) said all mass gatherings and sports events would be banned from the following weekend - just days after thousands of people flocked to the highly-criticized Cheltenham Festival

Boris Johnson (pictured on March 14, 2020) said all mass gatherings and sports events would be banned from the following weekend - just days after thousands of people flocked to the highly-criticized Cheltenham Festival

Boris Johnson (pictured on March 14, 2020) said all mass gatherings and sports events would be banned from the following weekend – just days after thousands of people flocked to the highly-criticized Cheltenham Festival

March 14, 2020: Spain and France are placed on lockdown amid soaring cases

Spain (pictured) was placed under a nation-wide lockdown with people banned from leaving homes except for work, to buy food and medicine, go to medical centers and banks, or take trips related to the care for the young and the elderly, effective immediately

Spain (pictured) was placed under a nation-wide lockdown with people banned from leaving homes except for work, to buy food and medicine, go to medical centers and banks, or take trips related to the care for the young and the elderly, effective immediately

Spain (pictured) was placed under a nation-wide lockdown with people banned from leaving homes except for work, to buy food and medicine, go to medical centers and banks, or take trips related to the care for the young and the elderly, effective immediately

Queues of trolleys wait to be allowed into a supermarket on March 14 in Irun near San Sebastian after the Spanish government declared a state of emergency one day earlier

Queues of trolleys wait to be allowed into a supermarket on March 14 in Irun near San Sebastian after the Spanish government declared a state of emergency one day earlier

Queues of trolleys wait to be allowed into a supermarket on March 14 in Irun near San Sebastian after the Spanish government declared a state of emergency one day earlier 

Tourists gather at a bus station in Spain - with services towards the airport - on March 14 as panic about the outbreak of deadly coronavirus intensifies

Tourists gather at a bus station in Spain - with services towards the airport - on March 14 as panic about the outbreak of deadly coronavirus intensifies

Tourists gather at a bus station in Spain – with services towards the airport – on March 14 as panic about the outbreak of deadly coronavirus intensifies

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Britons were forced to watch on as their European neighbours – who were already suffering devastating Covid losses – had their freedoms curbed with draconian lockdown measures.

Spain was placed under a nation-wide lockdown with people banned from leaving homes except for work, to buy food and medicine, go to medical centers and banks, or take trips related to the care for the young and the elderly, effective immediately.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the restrictions following a huge spike in the number of cases in the area – with over 5,700 people infected. More than 120 people have died.

Spain also closed all restaurants, bars, hotels, schools and universities nationwide, and other non-essential retail outlets.

Meanwhile in France, all restaurants, shops, cinemas, nightclubs and cafés were shut, with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe calling the virus the ‘biggest health crisis in a century’. 

Mr Philippe also called on French people to reduce their travel, especially between towns.

In a solemn TV address in the evening, Mr Philippe said the indefinite shut down would apply to ‘all places that receive the public but which are not essential to the life of the country.’ 

Meanwhile in France, all restaurants, shops, cinemas, nightclubs and cafés were shut, with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (pictured) calling the virus the 'biggest health crisis in a century'

Meanwhile in France, all restaurants, shops, cinemas, nightclubs and cafés were shut, with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (pictured) calling the virus the 'biggest health crisis in a century'

Meanwhile in France, all restaurants, shops, cinemas, nightclubs and cafés were shut, with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe (pictured) calling the virus the ‘biggest health crisis in a century’ 

Mr Philippe also called on French people (Paris, pictured) to reduce their travel, especially between towns. In a solemn TV address in the evening, Mr Philippe said the indefinite shut down would apply to 'all places that receive the public but which are not essential to the life of the country'

Mr Philippe also called on French people (Paris, pictured) to reduce their travel, especially between towns. In a solemn TV address in the evening, Mr Philippe said the indefinite shut down would apply to 'all places that receive the public but which are not essential to the life of the country'

Mr Philippe also called on French people (Paris, pictured) to reduce their travel, especially between towns. In a solemn TV address in the evening, Mr Philippe said the indefinite shut down would apply to ‘all places that receive the public but which are not essential to the life of the country’ 

March 14, 2020: Panic buying intensifies as shoppers strip supermarket shelves

Trolleys piled high for delivery are seen as shoppers queue at the checkout of Asda in London amid coronavirus hysteria in March last year

Trolleys piled high for delivery are seen as shoppers queue at the checkout of Asda in London amid coronavirus hysteria in March last year

Trolleys piled high for delivery are seen as shoppers queue at the checkout of Asda in London amid coronavirus hysteria in March last year

Crowds gathered on paths beside Sainsbury's in Ladbroke Grove and Savers in Wood Green (pictured), both London, as the threat of a lockdown loomed last year

Crowds gathered on paths beside Sainsbury's in Ladbroke Grove and Savers in Wood Green (pictured), both London, as the threat of a lockdown loomed last year

Crowds gathered on paths beside Sainsbury’s in Ladbroke Grove and Savers in Wood Green (pictured), both London, as the threat of a lockdown loomed last year

Coronavirus panic-buying unleashed carnage on British supermarkets on March 14, 2020, as hoards of shoppers gutted the nation's food and toilet roll aisles (Tesco in Colney Hatch, London, pictured)

Coronavirus panic-buying unleashed carnage on British supermarkets on March 14, 2020, as hoards of shoppers gutted the nation's food and toilet roll aisles (Tesco in Colney Hatch, London, pictured)

Coronavirus panic-buying unleashed carnage on British supermarkets on March 14, 2020, as hoards of shoppers gutted the nation’s food and toilet roll aisles (Tesco in Colney Hatch, London, pictured)

Shoppers panic-buying toilet rolls in Savers, north London, as the number of confirmed UK Covid-19 cases surpassed 1,100 in March 2020

Shoppers panic-buying toilet rolls in Savers, north London, as the number of confirmed UK Covid-19 cases surpassed 1,100 in March 2020

Shoppers panic-buying toilet rolls in Savers, north London, as the number of confirmed UK Covid-19 cases surpassed 1,100 in March 2020

As Europe faced various unprecedented lockdowns, Britons turned to panic buying, stripping the nation’s food and toilet roll aisles bare.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Startling scenes across the country saw shoppers crammed outside store entrances before making a bee-line for hygiene products, which have been in short supply over recent days.

A mass of trolleys piled high with tinned products and essentials were pictured inside one London Asda branch as Britons braced to bunker down at home after Boris Johnson urged anyone with a cough to self-isolate.

One man in Bath was pictured dressed in a combat-style hazmat suit carrying 27 toilet rolls.

And in one Asda in South Wales, the doomsday song The Final Countdown was even blasted out of the shop’s sound system.  

Shoppers were seen in winding lines at supermarkets (pictured, Savers in Wood Green, London) as they tried to get their hands on toilet roll, hand sanitiser and tinned goods

Shoppers were seen in winding lines at supermarkets (pictured, Savers in Wood Green, London) as they tried to get their hands on toilet roll, hand sanitiser and tinned goods

Shoppers were seen in winding lines at supermarkets (pictured, Savers in Wood Green, London) as they tried to get their hands on toilet roll, hand sanitiser and tinned goods

Shoppers stand in queues by the tills in Tesco Extra in Surrey Quays, south east London on March 14, 2020

Shoppers stand in queues by the tills in Tesco Extra in Surrey Quays, south east London on March 14, 2020

Shoppers stand in queues by the tills in Tesco Extra in Surrey Quays, south east London on March 14, 2020

Panic-buying Britons are seen in a London Tesco on March 14, 2020, stockpiling on toilet roll and vital items

Panic-buying Britons are seen in a London Tesco on March 14, 2020, stockpiling on toilet roll and vital items

Panic-buying Britons are seen in a London Tesco on March 14, 2020, stockpiling on toilet roll and vital items

March 14, 2020: US travel ban on Europe is extended to the UK

In a disturbing sign that the UK's epidemic was spiralling quicker than anyone feared, then-president Donald Trump (pictured) extended the United States' coronavirus travel ban to people from the UK and Ireland

In a disturbing sign that the UK's epidemic was spiralling quicker than anyone feared, then-president Donald Trump (pictured) extended the United States' coronavirus travel ban to people from the UK and Ireland

In a disturbing sign that the UK’s epidemic was spiralling quicker than anyone feared, then-president Donald Trump (pictured) extended the United States’ coronavirus travel ban to people from the UK and Ireland 

In a disturbing sign that the UK’s epidemic was spiralling quicker than anyone feared, then-president Donald Trump extended the United States’ coronavirus travel ban to people from the UK and Ireland.

The flight freeze kicked in at midnight the following Monday – and scuppered work and holiday plans for Britons preparing to make trans-Atlantic trips. 

The President had initially excluded the UK and Ireland from the European ban of 26 countries, but added it to the blacklist amid soaring infection rates.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Under the restrictions, American citizens and green card holders were still allowed to return home, but were funnelled to 13 airports and subjected to health screenings and quarantine orders. 

Flanked by his advisers at a White House press briefing, Mr Trump – who also confirmed he had been tested for Covid-19 – said: ‘We’re looking at it very seriously, yes, because they’ve had a little bit of activity unfortunately, so we’re going to be looking at that.

‘We actually already have looked at it and that is going to be announced.’

Shortly after, US Vice President Mike Pence confirmed the ban, saying: ‘In our taskforce meeting today the President has made a decision to suspend all travel to the UK and Ireland, effective midnight Monday night, eastern standard time.’

He added: ‘Americans in the UK or Ireland can come home, legal residents can come home … they will be funnelled through specific airports and processed.’

March 14, 2020: Shopper is mugged for his toilet paper  

A 56-year-old shopper was mugged for his toilet paper just moments after leaving a Savers store in Harringay, north London on March 14. Pictured: Other shoppers in the store

A 56-year-old shopper was mugged for his toilet paper just moments after leaving a Savers store in Harringay, north London on March 14. Pictured: Other shoppers in the store

A 56-year-old shopper was mugged for his toilet paper just moments after leaving a Savers store in Harringay, north London on March 14. Pictured: Other shoppers in the store

So desperate were stockpiling Britons becoming, that a 56-year-old shopper was mugged for his toilet paper in broad daylight, just moments after leaving a store in Harringay, north London.  

Dinendra was leaving a Savers store in Harringay, north London, around 3.30pm on March 14 when someone ran up behind him and snatched one of the two toilet rolls he was carrying.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

He was left shaken after the broad-daylight attack and lodged a report with the police – but insisted: ‘It’s not the value of the toilet roll, its the principle’.

Dinendra – who only went into the story to buy toilet paper – said: ‘I went to my local savers and bought two packs of toilet rolls. 

‘Someone came up from behind and stole one packet in broad daylight. 

‘I was shaken and shocked. Is that what we have come to? Its not the value of the toilet roll, its the principle. 

‘I’m concerned about the vulnerable people, the elderly. In terms of their health and their emotions as well.’ 

March 14, 2020: Trade body warns hotel, cafe and bar jobs could be ‘gone by May’

In the days before the furlough scheme was introduced, Rishi Sunak faced intense pressure to protect workers in non-essential industries.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Trade body UK Hospitality announced that the job security of hundreds of thousands of people working in cafes, hotels, and bars is under threat unless laws are changed before May.

London’s usually-packed streets, known to be the busiest in the UK, were left eerily quiet on the morning of March 14 – as were shopping areas in Birmingham, Cambridge, and Bristol. 

UK Hospitality boss Kate Nicholls asked the Government ‘to permit temporary staff redundancies where demand falls substantially – with Universal Credit covering wage costs,’ according to the BBC.    

Britain's once busy and bustling streets resembled ghost towns on March 14 as businesses started to announce closure dates amid the spread of coronavirus (pictured, Buckingham Palace)

Britain's once busy and bustling streets resembled ghost towns on March 14 as businesses started to announce closure dates amid the spread of coronavirus (pictured, Buckingham Palace)

Britain’s once busy and bustling streets resembled ghost towns on March 14 as businesses started to announce closure dates amid the spread of coronavirus (pictured, Buckingham Palace) 

In the days before the furlough scheme was introduced, Rishi Sunak faced intense pressure to protect workers in non-essential industries (pictured, a deserted Westminster)

In the days before the furlough scheme was introduced, Rishi Sunak faced intense pressure to protect workers in non-essential industries (pictured, a deserted Westminster)

In the days before the furlough scheme was introduced, Rishi Sunak faced intense pressure to protect workers in non-essential industries (pictured, a deserted Westminster) 

UK Hospitality boss Kate Nicholls asked the Government 'to permit temporary staff redundancies where demand falls substantially - with Universal Credit covering wage costs,' according to the BBC  (pictured, a much-quieter Trafalgar Square on March 14)

UK Hospitality boss Kate Nicholls asked the Government 'to permit temporary staff redundancies where demand falls substantially - with Universal Credit covering wage costs,' according to the BBC  (pictured, a much-quieter Trafalgar Square on March 14)

UK Hospitality boss Kate Nicholls asked the Government ‘to permit temporary staff redundancies where demand falls substantially – with Universal Credit covering wage costs,’ according to the BBC  (pictured, a much-quieter Trafalgar Square on March 14) 

March 14, 2020: Domino’s launches contact-free deliveries

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

In an early sign of how restaurants and delivery services were set to adapt for Covid-19, Domino’s  announced its no-contact drop off system on this day last year.

The takeaway pizza giant said its drivers would call the customer when they arrive to arrange a drop off point, then stay at least two metres away while the order is checked and confirmed to be correct. They also banned cash payment. 

Domino’s CEO David Wild said in a statement that the company hoped to safeguard both its customers and drivers, adding: ‘For customers who want to feel even safer when ordering, from next week we will launch Contact Free Delivery.

‘This service comes at no additional charge and is in response to some customers wishing to limit physical contact during the current COVID-19 outbreak.’

March 12, 2020: And meanwhile, elsewhere in the world…

Father of murdered Norwegian socialite pleas for billionaire tycoon’s fugitive son to return to the UK 

The father of a murdered Norwegian student called for the suspected murderer, a billionaire tycoon’s fugitive son, to return to the UK to face questioning. 

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Farouk Abdulhak, the son of a billionaire businessman, who is now aged 33, was quickly identified by the investigation team as a suspect for Martine Vik Magnussen’s murder in London 12 years ago. 

Martine’s father, Odd Petter Magnussen, issued a stark warning to Abdulhak. 

‘In today’s globalised world, you cannot hide for ever from the oldest and most serious crime known to man – the rape and murder of a woman,’ he said, according to the Mirror. 

‘I appeal to you to return to the UK to assist the police in finding out what happened to Martine.

‘I regard you as a coward unless you take responsibility for your actions.’

Barrage of rockets hit US coalition-base Camp Taji in Iraq 

A barrage of rockets hit an Iraqi military base housing US-led coalition troops for the second time in just one week, it was revealed.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

Three coalition service personnel – a British woman and two Americans – were killed in the first attack on Camp Taji earlier in the week.

It was the deadliest attack on coalition troops in Iraq since a late December rocket attack on an Iraqi base that killed a US contractor and set in motion a series of tit-for-tat attacks that brought Iraq to the brink of war.

In retaliation, the US launched a series of air strikes on militia bases across Iraq’s south, killing five Iraqi security forces and a civilian.

Conor McGregor pays tribute to his late aunt and confirms she did NOT die of coronavirus

Conor McGregor paid tribute to his ‘lovely’ late aunt in an emotional Instagram post but clarified that she did not pass away from coronavirus.

The Irish UFC star received the news about his aunt, Anne Moore, over the phone shortly before he was due to go on television in Dublin to promote his ‘Proper No 12’ whiskey brand.

In a post on March 14 announcing his aunt had passed away, McGregor wrote: ‘This stupid f****** virus. What the f*** is happening?’ 

But in a later upload, he said: ‘I want to clear up that it has been confirmed she was not a victim of coronavirus.

Hundreds of Hindus hold a cow urine drinking party in the belief it has the medicinal properties to fight off coronavirus  

Hundreds of Hindu worshippers in India hosted a cow urine drinking party on March 14, 2020, in the belief that it will ward off cornavirus

Hundreds of Hindu worshippers in India hosted a cow urine drinking party on March 14, 2020, in the belief that it will ward off cornavirus

Hundreds of Hindu worshippers in India hosted a cow urine drinking party on March 14, 2020, in the belief that it will ward off cornavirus

A group called the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) hosted the urine-drinking 'party' in Delhi, the country's capital, in the hope of shielding themselves

A group called the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) hosted the urine-drinking 'party' in Delhi, the country's capital, in the hope of shielding themselves

A group called the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) hosted the urine-drinking ‘party’ in Delhi, the country’s capital, in the hope of shielding themselves 

Hundreds of Hindu worshippers in India held a cow urine drinking party on March 14 in the belief that it will ward off cornavirus.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY HERE 

A group called the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) hosted the urine-drinking ‘party’ in Delhi, the country’s capital, in the hope of shielding themselves. 

It was attended by around 200 people and organisers hoped to host similar events elsewhere in India, which has seen 84 cases, with two deaths.    

‘We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take bath in cow dung,’ said Om Prakash, a person who attended the party.

‘We have never felt the need to consume English medicine.’ 

… and The Weekend is still at No1 with Blinding Lights  

Blinding Lights by The Weekend closed out its second consecutive week at No1 – and would go on to another week at the top spot the week after.

It first reached No1 in early February, but was briefly knocked off by Billie Eilish’s No Time To Die, the theme song to the next James Bond movie – which still has not been released because of the pandemic.  

link

(Visited 107 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply