United Kingdom Completely Locked Down

Written by on March 23, 2020

‘You MUST stay at home’: Boris Johnson locks down Britain – shutting shops and churches, banning weddings and forbidding meetings of more than two people in toughest-yet Germany-style coronavirus crackdown

  • Boris Johnson is imposing dramatic new UK lockdown after weekend saw people flout ‘social distancing’ 
  • PM said from tonight people should only go out for essential goods, medical needs, or brief exercise
  • Britons should only travel to and from work if it is ‘absolutely necessary’ and it cannot be done at home
  • He said shops selling non-essential goods are now being closed, along with playgrounds and churches 
  • Police will have  powers including fines to enforce the extraordinary measures being brought into place 
  • Claims that there would be a ‘Cabinet mutiny’ if the Prime Minister did not move to enforce its restrictions  
  • Labour MP and doctor Rosena Allin-Khan warned PM’s ‘relaxed attitude’ and ‘mixed message’ would cost lives
  • The UK death toll has risen by 54 in just 24 hours amid scenes of people gathering in parks and on beaches 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Boris Johnson plunged the UK into coronavirus lockdown tonight – ordering the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods as well as playgrounds and churches.

Gatherings of more than two people will be banned in the most dramatic curbs ever seen in Britain in peacetime, as the government goes all out to stop the spread of the killer disease.

In a grim address to the nation from Downing Street, Mr Johnson said weddings, baptisms and other social events must be cancelled to stop the NHS collapsing under the strain – although funerals can go ahead.

People must only go out for essential supplied, medical treatment, or to travel to work if unavoidable. Going out for exercise will be allowed once a day, but parks will be patrolled to make sure there is no abuse of the rules.   

Mr Johnson said his message to the public was simple: ‘You must stay at home.’ 

Police will have powers to fine those who do not fall into line, and disperse any public gatherings. 

The premier was finally forced into the draconian move amid fury that many people are still flouting ‘social distancing’ guidance, with parks and Tube trains in London – regarded as the engine of the UK outbreak – still busy.  

‘Though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘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 stop the disease spreading between households.’  

The government’s Cobra emergency committee met at 5pm and signed off the extraordinary new restrictions – similar to those which have already been imposed across the rest of Europe.

The coronavirus threat was thrown into sharp relief earlier as the number of UK fatalities went up by 54 in a single day – the second biggest rise yet, and the number of cases went up by 967, to 6,650.

Stressing that ‘no Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this’, Mr Johnson said: ‘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’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.

‘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.’  

In other major developments today: 

  • The government has suspended rail franchises to maintain services, as operators faced collapse with passenger numbers tumbling;
  • Mr Hancock has insisted he will ensure that NHS staff get all the personal protection equipment they need, amid fear they are currently ‘lambs to the slaughter’ when treating patients;
  • The government has formally warned Britons flocking to campsites and holiday homes away from cities that it does not count as ‘essential travel;  
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing a fresh economic bailout for five-million self-employed amid warnings thousands of sole traders will not survive the crisis;
  • The children of coronavirus key workers including firefighters have been turned away at the school gates while parents who fail to meet the criteria have verbally abused teachers and threatened to sue; 
  • The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, has said no new trials will start and that ongoing trials will be paused while arrangements are put in place so they can continue safely; 
  • Health minister Nadine Dorries, the first MP confirmed with coronavirus, has returned to work after recovering from the illness; 
  • The government is pushing emergency legislation through the Commons today, but Tory and Labour MPs have secured more checks on the measures including a fresh vote in six months; 
  • Research has suggested that the government’s current policy could still result in up to 70,000 deaths from coronavirus; 
Boris Johnson plunged the UK into coronavirus lockdown tonight - ordering the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods as well as playgrounds and churches

Boris Johnson plunged the UK into coronavirus lockdown tonight – ordering the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods as well as playgrounds and churches 

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