Coronavirus: Strict new curbs on life in UK announced by PM – BBC News, BBC News

Coronavirus: Strict new curbs on life in UK announced by PM – BBC News, BBC News


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Media caption Boris Johnson: “You must stay at home”

Strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus have been announced by the prime minister.

As of now, people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, medical or care need, and traveling to and from work where “absolutely necessary “.

Shops selling non-essential goods are being told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together are to be prohibited.

The UK death toll has reached

If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings, Boris Johnson said in a televised statement from Downing Street.                                                                                                                        


Other places including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship must also close immediately. Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.

The government is also stopping all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies – but funerals will be allowed.

Businesses that will not need to close include :

  • Restaurants, cafes and work canteens – but only for food delivery and takeaway services
  • Supermarkets and other locations selling food, including market stalls

    Mr Johnson said the country faced a “moment of national emergency” and staying at home was necessary to protect the NHS and save lives.

    He said the restrictions would be in place for at least three weeks and would be kept under constant review.

    Media caption What is social distancing?

    government guidance says people can travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

    Key workers or those with children identified as vulnerable can continue to take their children to school.

    Community centers will be allowed to remain open but only for the purpose of “hosting essential voluntary or public services “such as food banks or service for homeless people, the guidance says.

    Hotels, hostels, campsites and caravan parks must also close unless key workers need to stay there, or if other people staying there cannot return to their primary residence.

    ‘Real challenge’

    Several police forces said they were facing a high number of phone calls from members of the public seeking clarification on the new rest rictions.

    Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley warned the public not to “cripple” his force’s phone lines.

    Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said they were working with the government and other agencies to work out how best to enforce the new rules.

    But Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said he was already seeing “large amounts of sickness” among officers across London and enforcing the new restrictions would be “a real, real challenge”.

    “We will be dealing with it, but I’m not sure we will have the resources to be able to see it through, “he added.

    Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a tweet that the next few weeks would be “testing” for police but that she would make sure officers had “the resources they need to keep themselves and the public safe”.

                                                                                                           Image copyright                   Getty Images                                                        
    Image caption                                      Clapham Common in London was one of the UK’s many busy parks at the weekend                              

    Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the new restrictions “amount to a lockdown” and are “not done lightly. ”

    “I am not going to sugarcoat it in any way,” she said. “Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of our lifetime.”

    In a tweet , First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster urged people to follow the restrictions “to save lives and protect our hospitals.”

    First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said “These are really big changes for us all”.

    “We are making them because of the speed the virus is continuing to spread,” he added.

    Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said the measures were “the right response”.

    “The government must close the loopholes to give security to all workers, including the self-employed, as well as renters and mortgage holders,” he added.

    The Prime Minister said the measures were necessary to tackle “the biggest threat this country has faced for decades”.

    “Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses, “he said.

    “And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger.

    “To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.”


    Ministers and officials have become concerned about reports of people failing to observe the advice about social distancing.

    ) The sunny weather at the weekend led to people flocking to parks and other outdoor places to enjoy the start of spring, while images of commuters packed on to trains and tubes have also raised alarm.

    The figures show the number of positive cases are beginning to rise quickly and there is a desire – now we have gone down this route – that the gains from reducing social contact are maximised.

    If we halve exposure, new infections could fall by more than (%.

    Scientists currently believe that each person with coronavirus infects 2.5 people and that takes about five days. Thirty days after that first infection, that means more than people will be infected.

    But if we all reduce our exposure by half, after 83 days, that first infection would have led to only (infections.


    The prime minister said he knew the “damage” the restrictions were causing to people lives, businesses and jobs but at present there were “no easy options” .

    “The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost,” he said.

    However, Mr Johnson said there was “a clear way through”, by strengthening the NHS with former clinicians returning to work, accelerating the search for treatments and a vaccine and buying millions of testing kits.


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    Media caption Saturday was the “busiest ever visitor day in living memory “in Snowdonia, officials say

    A further people have died in England since Sunday – aged between 83 and and all with underlying health conditions – while there were four deaths in Scotland and four in Wales.

    There have been , 2019 tests to date, with 6, (confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.)

    Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Britons traveling abroad should return to the UK as soon as possible because international travel is becoming more difficult with the closure of borders and the suspension of flights.

    And people in the most at-risk groups have begun receiving an NHS text urging them to stay at home for weeks.


    It seems hard to overstate how huge an impact this will have on the country, and what a massive decision this is for the government to have taken – whose effect will last at least for a period of three weeks at the shortest, potentially for very much longer.

    Remember this though is not quite the kind of total crackdown we have seen in other countries – at least not yet. Despite tonight’s enormous announcement, there are steps that other places have taken – curfews or total travel bans for example – that the UK is not pursuing.

    The government is not triggering the Civil Contingencies Act, designed for the most serious emergencies which gives ministers draconian powers.

    Not surprisingly, there is already therefore enormous controversy about whether the UK has been acting fast enough.

    Read more from Laura


    Later on Monday night, following Mr Johnson’s address, Emergency legislation introducing measures to respond to the outbreak cleared the House of Commons and will now go to the Lords for further debate.

    Under the legislation, airports could shut and police would be able to force people with virus symptoms to isolate.

    The powers, which would have to be renewed every six months, are expected to be approved by MPs.

    Elsewhere, the British Olympic Association said Great Britain will not send a team to Tokyo 230320 if the spread of coronavirus continues as predicted.

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has given itself four weeks to decide on the future of the Games, but IOC member Dick Pound said it has already been decided that the tournament will be postponed until 01575879 (In other key developments:

  • (government has announced a package of measures to help the UK rail industry and promised commuters with season tickets that they will receive a refund if they ch oose to stay at home

  • Germany has expanded curbs on social interactions , banning public gatherings of more than two people
  • The number of worldwide cases has reached , , with nearly , deaths
  • Italy reported 650 new deaths on Monday, bringing the total there to 6, 087 – but South Korea has reported the lowest number of new cases since infections peaked
  • Thousands of retired medics answered the government call to return to work to help with the outbreak – including 4, (nurses and doctors
  • All new jury trials in England and Wales have been halted until they can be conducted safely, the Lord Chief Justice has announced
  • 1242196344770629633 (Read More)
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