With countries issuing travel advisories, airlines cancelling flights and popular tourist destinations being put on high alert amid COVID-19 concerns, it comes as no surprise that people are avoiding crowds, airports and travel in general.
COVID-19 has infected more than 110,000 people on a global scale, with 500 reported cases in the United States and 44 confirmed cases in Canada.
Maxar Technologies recently came out with satellite imagery to show how the virus has dramatically impacted global travel patterns for tourist attractions that are accustomed to heavy foot traffic on a regular basis.
Here’s a before and after look at some of the world’s most populous spaces:
Masjid Al-Haram, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca hosts almost four million pilgrims every year, and is considered to be the most holy site for Muslims across the globe.
The Umrah pilgrimage has been suspended by Saudi officials, in order to prevent the virus from spreading in an area where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all around the world come together year-round.
Saudi Arabia closed off air and sea travel to nine countries affected by the new coronavirus on March 9 as stock markets in the Mideast fell over fears about the widening outbreak’s effect on the global economy.
Piazzo del Duomo, Milan, Italy
One of Italy’s top tourist attractions in its fashion capital recently saw a huge decrease in foot traffic.
Milan’s Piazzo del Duomo sees upwards of five million visitors each year. In the second photo that was taken on March 4 after the outbreak, barely any people can be seen.
Schools across Italy, meanwhile, have been shut down until March 15. The country has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe, with over 5,000 people infected and 233 dead.
— With files from Jon Gambrell, and the Associated Press