The advice from world leaders is clear right now: stay at home. It’s the best way to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, which has resulted in an estimated 950,886 deaths as of April 2. As a result of self-isolation and quarantine, the world’s top tourist spots are deserted. It’s definitely strange to see Times Square without its usual crowds and the vast, empty slopes of the most popular ski resorts.
But there’s an upside to the lack of traffic — for one iconic London destination, at least. The famous zebra crossing outside the city’s Abbey Road studios, the scene of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album cover, normally has lines of people waiting to recreate the shot. But after the city went into lockdown on March 20, the streets emptied, and many Londoners noticed the absence of tourists.
“I became obsessed with the Abby Road webcam last week as there were fewer and fewer tourists taking photos there and it started looking like just another zebra crossing,” wrote Twitter user @garyswilkinson. “Now you hardly see any pedestrians at all.”
As a result, the crossing got a much-needed facelift. Maintenance workers took advantage of the empty space and repainted fresh white lines.
I became obsessed with the Abby Road webcam last week as there were fewer and fewer tourists taking photos there and it started looking like just another zebra crossing. Now you hardly see any pedestrians at all https://t.co/4nSHgarZLW
— G. S. Wilkinson (@garyswilkinson) March 25, 2020
It’s a very different view to that on Aug. 8, 2019, when fans flocked to the street to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album release.
— Tash Salmon (@Tash_Salmon) August 8, 2019
Unfortunately, the Abbey Road makeover didn’t happen before a recent royal visit. On March 27, rock star Jon Bon Jovi released a special rendition of “Unbroken,” which was recorded at Abbey Road studios with the Invictus Games Choir. One of the promotional pictures featured Bon Jovi on the famous crossing with two members of the choir and Prince Harry, who founded the Invictus Games in 2014 as a way of using sport to create a positive impact on the lives of injured service personnel and veterans.
— Abbey Road Studios (@AbbeyRoad) March 27, 2020
If you want to see Abbey Road in all its freshly-painted glory, you can check it out on EarthCam. It’s not the same as being there in person, but it’s the best you can hope for during a global pandemic.