The Manc - Manchester Arndale is an eerie ghost town tonight"

Manchester Arndale is an eerie ghost town tonight

As the prime minister announces that all UK schools will close on Friday, public places across the country are quieter than ever.

More and more people are entering self-isolation while others work from home to avoid Coronavirus in what is the biggest pandemic to hit the country in modern times.

With that, the city of Manchester has become a ghost town, and while thousands are still using the city centre every day, photos on social media put into perspective just how much the COVID-19 outbreak has scared people away from mass gatherings.

One of these places is Manchester Arndale.

Usually bustling at end of play for thousands of workers in the city centre, the popular shopping centre is a shortcut for most, and at 5pm every day it is a spaghetti junction of people making their way home.

But not tonight. Photos have appeared of the Arndale looking "eery and unsettling" as citizens avoid it in mass.

And while most businesses inside the city centre's famous mall remain open for the public, business is almost non-existent.

It will only get worse in the coming days as the country prepares for an imminent lockdown – much like the measures taken across the Mediterranean in Italy, Spain and beyond.

The photos emerge not long after it was announced that the first UK prisoner to test positive for Coronavirus was being held in Strangeways.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK reached 2,626 today.

More than 56,221 people have now been tested for Covid-19 in the UK.

Below are some more photos of Manchester Arndale this evening.

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