Prime minister Boris Johnson placed the country on lockdown last night. Here is what it means to you.
Boris Johnson has taken unprecedented measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has placed the country on lockdown.
The prime minister announced extreme measures last night saying: “From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home, because the critical thing we must do is to stop the disease spreading between households.”
He outlined that people will only be allowed to do the following:
1) Shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible
2) One form of exercise per day such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with family members
3) Any medical need or to care for a vulnerable person
4) Travelling to and from work but only when this is absolutely necessary and it is not possible to work from home.
Social workers are classed as key workers in a ‘critical sector’. As such, if you cannot keep your child safe at home when you are working then your children will be prioritised for education provision.
Boris Johnson urged the general public not to meet with friends or family members, to only shop for essential items such as food and medicine and to use food delivery services where possible.
People failing to adhere to these plans face police enforcement measures such as fines and police will also have powers to disperse groups.
All shops providing non-essential goods such as clothes and electrical equipment will be closed. Libraries, playgrounds, outside gyms and places of worship will also face closure. All social gatherings such as weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies will be stopped, excluding funerals.
Parks remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed by the police, the prime minister added.
The restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks time and the prime minister said they would be relaxed if evidence shows that it is possible.
The measures come after Boris Johnson had previously announced plans for self-isolation for those showing symptoms of COVID-19, social distancing for the general public including keeping two metres apart from others and shielding to keep vulnerable people in isolation.
However, the prime minister was forced to step up measures to prevent the spread of the disease last night after images across the nation published over the weekend showed the general public flocking to seaside resorts and outside spaces, ignoring social distancing rules.