Two years since Sussex first went into lockdown to battle the covid pandemic

Today (Wednesday, March 23) marks two years since the first lockdown was announced due to covid.

Today (Wednesday, March 23) marks two years since the first lockdown was announced due to covid.

On March 23, 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced restrictions in a bid to help handle the spread of covid-19.

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Residents were told to stay at home, to only go shopping for essential items and were allowed to have one form of outdoor exercise a day.

Hastings town centre during the UK's first lockdown. SUS-220322-111100001

The world first took notice of the virus in December 31, 2019, as China alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) about covid-19.

A month later the UK recorded its first two cases of the virus, while the first death came on March 4.

On March 11 the WHO announced that this was a pandemic.

As the nation entered lockdown there were fears over how this could impact people’s livelihoods.

Social distancing sign in Eastbourne town centre SUS-220322-111111001

The furlough scheme was introduced which allowed companies and employees to keep their head above water during this time.

Unfortunately the lockdown brought concerns and subsequent panic buying as we become accustomed to seeing empty shelves at the supermarkets.

One of the SussexWorld editors, Mark Dunford, said during this time it felt like ‘the end of the world’.

On a positive note, the time indoors allowed many residents to reconnect with loved ones while many people took the opportunity to throw themselves into a hobby.

Coronavirus: Hastings seafront pictured on day one of the UK lockdown. SUS-220322-111049001

The country also rallied together to show its support for the NHS.

Residents took to the streets every Thursday to clap and bang their pots and pans together in solidarity with essential workers.

Mr Dunford said, “It was genuinely quite emotional hearing that noise.”

As well as the pressure on the NHS, those in the hospitality sector were also concerned for the future.

Social distancing sign in Eastbourne town centre SUS-220322-111027001

Mr Dunford said, “It has been a long, long time and here we are in 2022 now. Covid is still there in different forms, in some cases less effective, but we still have to be wary of it.

“We are out of lockdown but people are still wearing masks and I think a lot of people have changed the way they live because of covid and the way they go around.”

Mr Dunford also showed his support for the hospitality sector.

He said, “It is good to see businesses and the hospitality sector all coming back to life now and hopefully that will remain.”

More than two years on from the initial lockdown the Government has dropped all restrictions - although there is still guidance surrounding the virus.

On the Government website a spokesperson said, “COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.”

Coronavirus: Hastings town centre pictured on day one of the UK lockdown. SUS-220322-111038001