March 24 2020 @ 9:19 by Richard Dawson
The UK woke up to a lockdown situation this morning (March 24) following the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s televised address last night in which he announced more serious social distancing measures.
In the most dramatic development of the Government’s strategy to curb the spread of the coronavirus, UK citizens are now mandated not to leave their homes except for a limited number of essential reasons.
– Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine, but even these trips should be kept to a minimum
– One form of exercise per day such as a run, walk or cycle
– Travelling to or from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home
– Leaving for any medical need or to help a vulnerable person
The Prime Minister promised that the police would have the powers to enforce these rules, including through fines and by dispersing public gatherings.
It is thought that by reducing day-to-day contact between people, we will reduce the spread of the infection, thereby reducing the number of Covid-19 cases and keeping the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.
All non-essential retail stores, libraries, leisure facilities, places of worship and hotels will also now be required to close in line with the lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this. I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.
“I can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review. We will look again in three weeks and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to.
“But at present there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost.
“I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.”