Photos show how coronavirus has impacted crowds at landmarks

Bustling tourist destinations just a year ago are now almost vacant.

March 6, 2020, 4:13 PM

As the novel coronavirus—named COVID-19—has spread globally, popular tourist destinations have seen a steep drop in visitation, either by local mandate or concern over possible transmission in crowded spaces.

Saudi Arabia decided on Friday to reopen two of the most holy religious sites in Islam in Mecca and Medina since they were closed to visitors for sterilization, according to state TV. Saudi Arabia to date has at least five cases of COVID-19.

In a series of stark photos, some tourist sites are nearly vacant from a year ago since COVID-19 has generated public health concerns across the world.

Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

PHOTO: Tourists fill the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy, April 20, 2019.
Tourists fill the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy, April 20, 2019.
LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE
PHOTO: A woman wearing a mask poses for photos at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, in Rome, March 5, 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak.
A woman wearing a mask poses for photos at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, in Rome, March 5, 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak.
Andrew Medichini/AP

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

PHOTO: Tourists visit the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, March 16, 2019.
Tourists visit the Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, March 16, 2019.
Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP via Getty Images
PHOTO: TTourists visit Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, March 5, 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak.
Tourists visit Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, March 5, 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak.
Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP via Getty Images

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul, South Korea

PHOTO: Tourists take photos as they visit Gyeongbokgung palace in Seoul, Oct.24, 2016.
Tourists take photos as they visit Gyeongbokgung palace in Seoul, Oct.24, 2016.
Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images, FILE
PHOTO: Visitors wearing face masks, amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walk through a courtyard of Gyeongbokgung palace in central Seoul on March 6, 2020.
Visitors wearing face masks, amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, walk through a courtyard of Gyeongbokgung palace in central Seoul on March 6, 2020.
Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China

PHOTO: Tourists pose for a selfie photograph at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China,  March 4, 2018.
Tourists pose for a selfie photograph at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, March 4, 2018.
Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE
PHOTO: Security officials wear face masks as they march in formation near Tiananmen Gate adjacent to Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Jan. 27, 2020, during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Security officials wear face masks as they march in formation near Tiananmen Gate adjacent to Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Jan. 27, 2020, during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Mark Schiefelbein/AP

The Kaaba at the Grand Mosque, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

PHOTO: Muslim pilgrims walk around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, Feb. 27, 2020.
Muslim pilgrims walk around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, Feb. 27, 2020.
Abdel Ghani Bashir/AFP via Getty Images
PHOTO: General view of Kaaba at the Grand Mosque which is almost empty of worshippers, after Saudi authority suspended umrah (Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) amid the fear of coronavirus outbreak, at Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, March 6, 2020.
General view of Kaaba at the Grand Mosque which is almost empty of worshippers, after Saudi authority suspended umrah (Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) amid the fear of coronavirus outbreak, at Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, March 6, 2020.
Ganoo Essa/Reuters
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