Ghost town Britain: Commuting city workers shun the office as new lockdown is ...

Office staff largely worked from home today as Britain’s third national lockdown began to clamp shut, but tradesmen, key workers and essential businesses continued to travel in to their jobs.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last night the restrictions, which will come in tomorrow, would allow the virus to be contained and the NHS protected.

His call to arms was largely obeyed by city staff who stayed away from travel, but people including builders and cafe workers still journeyed to their work as permitted under the new rules.

It meant while huge empty business blocks created a ghost town atmosphere across the country, some travel routes appeared relatively busy.

And traffic data showed very little movement from yesterday, despite Mr Johnson's dramatic speech last night. 

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It came despite big businesses including Amazon, Goldman Sachs and the London Stock Exchange telling workers to stay home unless they were essential staff.

The deserted Mall, backdropped by Buckingham Palace, as London heads to its third lockdown

The deserted Mall, backdropped by Buckingham Palace, as London heads to its third lockdown

The palace, usually swarmed with tourists, was almost completely abandoned today

The palace, usually swarmed with tourists, was almost completely abandoned today

Bridge of silence: Tower Bridge in London near City Hall was empty of usual crowds

Bridge of silence: Tower Bridge in London near City Hall was empty of usual crowds

National Portrait Gallery in London the morning after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech

National Portrait Gallery in London the morning after Prime Minister Boris Johnson's speech

Empty streets in Manchester on the first day after the new COVID-19 lockdown was announced

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Empty streets in Manchester on the first day after the new COVID-19 lockdown was announced

The Plymouth city centre was completely absent of shoppers after the PM's announcement

The Plymouth city centre was completely absent of shoppers after the PM's announcement

Vehicles on the M4 at Langley in Berkshire the morning showed travel was still going on

Vehicles on the M4 at Langley in Berkshire the morning showed travel was still going on

A London underground tube train looked relatively busy in rush hour despite home work plea

A London underground tube train looked relatively busy in rush hour despite home work plea

This platform in West Ham looked crowded during the trip into work on Tuesday morning

This platform in West Ham looked crowded during the trip into work on Tuesday morning

Staff at the world-famous London Stock Exchange were mostly working at home, with just a small key team allowed into offices.

It was the same with other big firms, including Standard Chartered, with those who can work at home doing so.

Goldman Sachs staff in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were all told last night by memo only key members should come in.

It said: 'In the UK, until further notice, we will continue with our in-office essential approach announced in December.

'Across the broader EMEA region, the challenges are similar with new local lockdowns continuing into January in many countries.

'This will necessitate ongoing caution and flexibility from all of us.' 

Amazon have also told staff across the world as long as they can do their jobs from home they are welcome to do so until June 30. 

The quiet streets of Nottingham this morning as England goes into another full lockdown

The quiet streets of Nottingham this morning as England goes into another full lockdown

New Street train station in Birmingham at 8.47am the morning today after the PM's address

New Street train station in Birmingham at 8.47am the morning today after the PM's address

Certain workers including tradespeople and cafe staff are allowed to carry on going to work

Certain workers including tradespeople and cafe staff are allowed to carry on going to work

The M4 motorway near Maidenhead after the sun rose showed fewer cars on the roads

The M4 motorway near Maidenhead after the sun rose showed fewer cars on the roads

Streets across Bristol appear empty as England prepares to enter the third national lockdown

Streets across Bristol appear empty as England prepares to enter the third national lockdown

Rush hour traffic in London, Newcastle, Bristol and Birmingham showed no drop from Monday

Rush hour traffic in London, Newcastle, Bristol and Birmingham showed no drop from Monday

The new lockdown in England at a glance 
All primary and secondary schools will close with immediate effect Classes will remain only for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers.  The plan is for them to reopen after the February half-term break. A-Level and GCSE exams are unlikely to go ahead as planned in the summer. Universities will also remain closed to students until mid-February. Nurseries will remain fully open.  The public

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