The Prime Minister addressed the public this evening with new, more stringent rules everyone in Britain has to follow in a bid to suppress the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking to the nation, Boris Johnson explained that the UK public is now only allowed to leave their house under the following conditions:
- To shop for basic necessities (including food or medicine) as infrequently as possible
- For one form of exercise a day (which can be a run, a walk or a bike ride)
- To seek medical help
- To travel to and from work, but only when "absolutely necessary" - everyone else should be working from home
The Prime Minister confirmed the police would have powers to enforce these rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings. The rules have been described as the biggest limits that have ever been placed on the way people live their lives in this country.
In keeping with the new 'lockdown' rules, all non-essential shops will be closed, as will libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship. The enforced social distancing rules have come into force after the UK government gave the public the opportunity to comply voluntarily. While many people did, others appeared to ignore the advice and continued to go about their everyday lives.
In addition to the guidelines, the government is also implementing the following additional rules:
- All gatherings of more than two people in public (aside from families) are forbidden from taking place
- All social events, including weddings and baptisms are banned
- Funerals are allowed to go ahead
- Parks will remain open for the purpose of exercise, but any gatherings will be dispersed
Boris Johnson confirmed the new rules will be in place for an initial period of three weeks, but will be reviewed periodically from then on.
Here's hoping that, under these stringent new measures, we can minimise the number of people who lose their lives to coronavirus.
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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