The UK was put on virtual lockdown tonight, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced much stricter rules on free movement throughout the country, stating, “No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this…but the time has come for us to do more”.
Following yesterday’s bright Spring sunshine and a surge of sections of the population descending on rural and coastal areas, flouting the government advisory on ‘safe-distancing’, it was reported that government was, at the very least ‘concerned’ that the public was not taking the message seriously.
Partially as a result, the Prime Minister made his daily Covid-19 announcement not as a press conference, but as an ‘address to the nation’;
As the public listened to Boris Johnson’s national address and the few remaining, unconvinced sections of it appeared to finally understand what is going on here, the cities, towns and villages became eerily quiet, only the occasional car on the road, pedestrians few and far between;
The new measures include;
CLOSED – All non-essential food shops, including those selling electronic goods and clothing, will close immediately;
CLOSED – All playgrounds, libraries, outdoor gyms & places of worship;
STOPPED – All social events, including weddings, baptisms, & other ceremonies, except funerals;
STOPPED – Gatherings of more than 2 people in public, (except for members of the same household);
As the UK Parliament debates passing emergency legislation to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, the PM, in a televised address, instructed the British public they must “stay at home”, in order to slow down the spread of the disease, with the following limited exemptions;
ALLOWED – To purchase essential food, and these trips must be kept to a minimum;
ALLOWED – One form of exercise per day, such as cycling, running or walking alone or with a member of your household. Parks will remain open for exercise, but no more than 2 people may gather;
ALLOWED – Visits to care for the elderly or vulnerable, or for medication shopping and medical visits;
ALLOWED – Travel to and from work, but only if absolutely essential and only if you cannot work from home.
Mr. Johnson went on to say, “If you don’t follow the rules, the police will have the power to enforce that”.
The UK already closed all pubs, bars, restaurants, cinemas & theatres 3 days ago, on 21 March, except for those businesses who wished to offer takeaway facilities only.
Watch Boris Johnson’s address below;
All McDonald’s, Nando’s & Subway outlets closed nationwide on 23 March. Huge queues were witnessed outside many McDonald’s on their last day of trading, for now.
After praising supermarket workers, food distributors and other ‘key workers’, not least the NHS, (National Health Service ) staff who are at the ‘front line’ of this struggle, in an almost Churchillian tone, Prime Minister Johnson concluded his public address from 10 Downing Street by saying, “ I want to thank everyone who is working toward this fight…Each and every one of us is directly enlisted…to save many, many thousands of lives”.
More than 7,500 recently retired doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff have re-joined the NHS following a request from the government last week.
In the UK, of a total of 6,650 positively-tested cases of Covid-19, there have been 335 deaths. (Figures as of Monday 23 March 2020).