THE monochrome images suit the mood perfectly.

A precious few faces snapped in the pubs of Brighton and Hove, going against government advice to sample a final few sips of their favourite drink.

There may not be a chance to do this again for a long time.

Thousands of residents have been going stir crazy in the last week, cooped up in their own homes.

They acted on the advice of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who urged UK citizens to stay inside last Monday to delay the escalating threat of coronavirus.

“Now is the time to stop all non-essential contact with others, and to stop all unnecessary travel,” Britain was told.

“We need people to start working from home where they possibly can, and you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.”

Seemingly overnight, living rooms were transformed into offices, bedrooms into gyms and mobile phone screens have proved to be an invaluable source of human contact for isolated individuals.

The world was turned on its head.

For a couple of days, pubs and restaurants stayed open.

With no official order to close but customers warned to stay away, they lay largely barren in an unenforced purgatory.

Photographer Guy Wah also works in the leisure industry.

As soon as he heard the news, he knew demand for his work - and that of so many others - would be obliterated.

Guy said: “Like most people in the leisure and entertainment industry, all my forthcoming work disappeared within a few hours of Boris Johnson’s press conference.

“My two major income streams are from acting jobs and event photography, and both industries were very quickly decimated once the government told people to stay home.”

As the city fell silent, he decided to try and capture the mood of the city.

Outside but isolated still, he took his camera around some of Brighton’s busiest streets to snap the scene.

“As it was St Patrick’s Day – usually one of the busiest weekdays of the year for the pub trade – I decided to go out and see first-hand how quickly the order had affected trade,” he said.

“Most pubs had two or three people in them at most.

“Most restaurants had just one couple,and most take-aways were closed completely.

“Those that were open were empty, though many were visited by delivery drivers who were collecting orders.”

Just days later, they were closed for good as Mr Johnson revealed further drastic action was being taken to fight the spread of coronavirus.

“Following an agreement between all formations of the United Kingdom and all of the involved administrations we are collectively telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can, and not to open tomorrow,” he delivered the devastating but necessary news.

“Though, to be clear, they can continue to provide take-out services.

“We are also telling nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close on the same time-scale.

“These are places where people come together and indeed the whole purpose, in many cases, of these businesses is to bring people together.

“But the sad thing is I’m afraid today, for now, at least physically, we need to keep people apart.”

Guy also slammed the government, calling for more action to help people like him, freelancers who “ find themselves without both future work prospects, and short-term income”.

He said he had tried to call the Universal credit hotline but had been given no answer, and asked for “a package of financial support to freelance workers for the duration of social distancing”.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Friday, fresh-faced chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak took centre stage.

He revealed plans for an “economic intervention that is unprecedented in the history of the British state,” a coronavirus retention scheme.

This purportedly unlimited pool will provide any employer in the country with the chance to “contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll rather than being laid off.”