Citing the need to slow the spread of coronavirus, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a three-week nationwide lockdown, demanding the populace to stay at home or face getting arrested.
“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home,” Johnson said on Monday evening.
If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce
Preventing the spread of the coronavirus between homes is key to ensuring that the National Health Service (NHS) is not overwhelmed by the influx of patients requiring intensive care – or crowding out other people who need treatments, Johnson argued.
Please join me for an important update on #coronavirus #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/QSlIOIaYsF— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 23, 2020
This means no direct contact with friends or family members who do not live in the same home, and only leaving to shop for food “as infrequently as possible,” “one form of exercise” a day, getting medical care, or commuting to and from work if absolutely necessary.
Use food delivery services where you can.
All shops selling nonessential goods are to be closed, along with libraries, gyms, and places of worship. All gatherings of more than two people are prohibited, excluding people who live together.
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Earlier in the day, Johnson came under media fire for sending “mixed messages” to Britons, telling them first to stay at home and then to “go out and enjoy yourselves.”
After UK residents packed the parks and beaches over the weekend, enjoying the sunny weather but making social distancing pointless, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan slammed them as “moronic” people risking everyone’s lives.
“What is wrong with people? Why would you want to be one of these morons, seriously? Do you not understand how serious it is?” Morgan said.
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The strict lockdown, closely resembling the measures implemented in Germany, comes just three days after Johnson ordered the closure of cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants.
It represents a further shift in London’s response to the crisis away from the initial model of allowing for mass infection to build “herd immunity” and towards trying to “flatten the curve” in order to prevent the healthcare system from collapsing.
As of Monday, the UK has registered 6,650 cases of Covid-19, of which 335 have been fatal.
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