Venice canals clear canals as Italians sit in quarantine

As coronavirus shuts more people into their homes, the canals of Venice have become still and lack their usual boat traffic.

An empty canal is seen after the spread of coronavirus has caused a decline in the number of tourists in Venice, Italy, March 1, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/MANUEL SILVESTRI)
An empty canal is seen after the spread of coronavirus has caused a decline in the number of tourists in Venice, Italy, March 1, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/MANUEL SILVESTRI)
As nonessential businesses in Italy come to a halt, the canals of Venice were cleared of the usual boat traffic, allowing the people of Venice to see clearer waters. In an effort to lift morale, people have taken to social media to share images of the still canals. In some images of the canals, small fish can be seen swimming around.

While many on social media speculated that without the boats the water quality had improved, the Venice mayor's office told CNN that quarantine had not resulted in cleaner water.
"The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom," a spokesperson told CNN. "It's because there is less boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water's surface."
However, the air quality in Venice has reportedly improved.
"The air, however, is less polluted since there are less vaporetti and boat traffic than usual because of the restricted movement of residents," the spokesperson told CNN.
In addition to sharing photos of the area, social media has been covered in posts of Italians singing to each other from balconies while in quarantine. This trend was picked up in Israel and recently, people on balconies serenaded a couple getting married in a courtyard in Petah Tikvah.
According to the World Health Organization, as of March 18, Italy had 31,506 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,503 in the country died from the disease.