Beatles’ Abbey Road crossing finally repainted amid U.K. coronavirus lockdown

A Highways Maintenance team takes advantage of the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown and quiet streets to re-paint the iconic Abbey Road crossing on March 24, 2020 in London, England. Leon Neal/Getty Images

Remember Abbey Road, the Beatles penultimate, 1969 album? Well, the iconic crosswalk, or “zebra crossing,” featured on the artwork of the record has just been repainted.

That’s right, in the midst of a nationwide lockdown called upon by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the COVID-19 pandemic, the London-based landmark — located right outside of Abbey Road Studios — was given a fresh coat of paint by municipal workers on Tuesday.

Why does this matter, some might ask? Well, it’s not immediately clear if, or when, the Abbey Road zebra crossing has ever been repainted, and now that people are being enforced to stay inside as a result of the novel coronavirus, it seems that the lockdown has given local workers an opportunity to spruce up the often-crowded landmark.

On March 24, a photographer by the name of Leon Neal visited the historic site to capture some images of the rarely empty street, however, he ironically “stumbled” across it in the middle of it being restored. He later took to Twitter sharing some of the pictures.

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For five decades, Abbey Road has been an extremely popular tourist destination and is regularly crowded with Beatles fans trying to recreate the pose which was originally made famous by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr back in ’69 while shooting the album cover.

Back in 2010, the pedestrian crossing was designated a site of national importance by the British government, meaning that the site could be altered only with the “approval of local authorities,” according to Reuters.

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“This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral but, thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photoshoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage,” said John Penrose, Minister for Tourism and Heritage in a statement.

You can see live footage of the world famous, and now restored, landmark here.

Abbey Road, the album, is available through all major streaming platforms, including Spotify.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

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Coronavirus outbreak: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

With files from Reuters

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