Boris Johnson will order police to enforce a strict coronavirus lockdown, with a ban on gatherings of more than two people and strict limits on exercise, as he told the British public: “You must stay at home.”
The prime minister ratcheted up Britain’s response with an address to the nation on Monday evening, warning that people would only be allowed outside to buy food or medication, exercise alone once a day, or to travel to work if absolutely necessary.
All non-essential shops will close with immediate effect, as will playgrounds and libraries, he said in the address from Downing Street.
After days of being accused of sending mixed messages about what the public should do, Johnson significantly escalated his language as he urged people to comply with the more stringent measures.
“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can,” he said.
“If you don’t follow the rules, the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
The decision follows Friday’s announcement that all pubs, restaurants and gyms should shut down, then the continuation of commuters packing into trains on Monday, and of sun-seekers crowding into parks over the weekend.
After weeks of being reluctant to copy the draconian measures seen elsewhere in Europe, Johnson announced the plan after coming under pressure from his own cabinet and Tory backbenchers as well as Labour.
“In this fight, we can be in no doubt that each and every one of us is directly enlisted. Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together. To halt the spread of this disease. To protect our NHS and to save many many thousands of lives,” he said...Read More….