The spread of coronavirus has dramatically altered a number of aspects to day-to-day life. The food service industry has tried to make do by offering meals via delivery or takeout as many areas are in various states of lockdown. Supermarkets and other big-box stores have altered hours to allow more time for cleaning and restocking, as well as windows of time for seniors to shop. Even online retailers, like Amazon, have halted shipment of items deemed non-essential from its warehouses.
Now, as people everywhere are engaged in the practices of both self-quarantining as well as social distancing, people are traveling less. A lot less. Not only are more and more employees getting the option to telecommute as a way to help slow the spread of the virus, they're also traveling by air in surprisingly low numbers. Whether it's out of concerns of catching (or spreading) coronavirus or mandated by travel bans, the airports are sitting empty.
It's quite the sight to see, as a number of Twitter users have been posting their own personal experiences walking through the usually bustling hallways of these international travel hubs. Here are just a few of these photos.
Came home to an empty Mumbai airport. Gonna self-quarantine myself for the next 14 days. Stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/kgiKX7vwLr— Atharva Vaidya (@atharva_vaidya) March 15, 2020
Budapest was the #1 tourist city in the EU last year. The airport now is almost empty. We're trying to get home but we'll see how that goes... pic.twitter.com/LQmlSY6HB7— Reagan Schrock (@reagan_schrock) March 15, 2020
The short-term parking lot at Oakland International Airport is eerily empty. Feels like that movie "The Omega Man". pic.twitter.com/iUg59x8vxT— Tina 🌁 (@TinaRiepe) March 16, 2020
President Donald Trump first issued a travel ban during a televised address on March 11, just hours after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus to be a global pandemic.
Never seen Dubai airport so empty. pic.twitter.com/guqQSKo3xZ— David Kuntin (@germdave) March 16, 2020
DXB - empty airport pic.twitter.com/RfGXMBtiYT— Nurah 🦋 (@ariyanaa11) March 16, 2020
Totally empty check in area at the JFK airport. 😳 pic.twitter.com/TFbQiYOXtO— Reagan Schrock (@reagan_schrock) March 16, 2020
"To keep new cases from entering our shores," Trump said during the address, "we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days." He added that "there will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings."
Ottawa airport- eerily empty. pic.twitter.com/OIx5Xawg28— william cross (@smokeycross2000) March 17, 2020
I have never seen such empty bangalore airport..😜😜 pic.twitter.com/O80gshGQfM— Banana Soul+ Moody Insaan+ Sakht Lounda (@jaydoshij) March 17, 2020
Empty airports (save those working the counters & cleaning continually, so we can get home) & cancelled flights among few going. Quarantine & social isolation is what we must do, but doesn't make me like retreat behind closed borders/sovereign states vs global community #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/EKFbgMRtXA— Katherine Gallagher (@katherga1) March 18, 2020
On Friday, Trump declared a national emergency over coronavirus concerns, which included some clarifications about what the U.S. travel ban entailed.
Traveling during the pandemic is a weird experience. The airports are empty. This flight is empty. People are staying away from each other. Everyone sanitizing their seats.stay tuned for more updates. #traveling during #pandemic pic.twitter.com/hudvzlKRJi— Jess. (@_jsh3) March 17, 2020
Coronavirus: An empty road that runs past terminals is seen at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California pic.twitter.com/liiTdgHlJV— Darlington Micah (@DarlingtonMicah) March 12, 2020
"To unleash the full power of the federal government in this effort today, I am officially declaring a national emergency," Trump said during the declaration. "Two very big words. The action I am taking will open up access to $50 billion... for states and territories and localities in our shared fight against this disease."
the Houston airport is literally just....empty today pic.twitter.com/C9enXBj2ZY— lil pee-hag (@phagcult) March 11, 2020
I've never seen the airport so empty. pic.twitter.com/1ZZVA2KbMy— Debbie Lesko (@DebbieLesko) March 14, 2020
The travel ban has been disruptive for many, including WWE star Paige, who was dealing with a "travel issue" that resulted in her being absent Friday Night SmackDown.
Friend sent pic of Newark Airport. Empty. pic.twitter.com/FRIJVhSKYH— Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) March 12, 2020
Just helped wife's senior parents relocate and flying to help mom move next ... airports are a empty and silent. Feels eerie and surreal like a disaster movie. pic.twitter.com/oGXi5NZhkM— rScotty_V (@rScotty_V) March 18, 2020
One likely contributor to the lack of crowds is the fact that a number of major events have either been canceled or postponed out of coronavirus concerns. These include SXSW, Coachella and the Stagecoach Festival.
Despite the dramatic downturn of travelers, the 2020 Olympics are still planning on being held in Tokyo. Though, as is with everything these days, that's subject to change.