The prime minister has anounced strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
From this evening (March 23rd) people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work. Shops selling non-essential goods will also be shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together prohibited. The UK death toll has reached 335. 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.
Here are the major points of his speech:
- From tonight, people in Britain will be allowed to leave their homes for only “very limited purposes” – shopping for basic necessities; for one form of exercise a day; for any medical need; and to travel to and from work when “absolutely necessary”
- People are warned not to meet friends or family members who they do not live with
- Shopping is only permitted for essentials like food and medicine, and people are advised to do it “as little as you can”
- Police have powers to enforce the rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings
- All shops selling non-essential goods, such as clothing and electronic stores, are ordered to close
- Libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship are to close
- All gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with – are banned
- All social events, including weddings and baptisms are banned
- Funerals are not included in the new restrictions
- Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed
- Restrictions “under constant review” and will be checked again in three weeks. They will be relaxed “if the evidence shows we are able to”