Published: Tue, March 24, 2020
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Announces UK Coronavirus Lockdown 'For Three Weeks'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Announces UK Coronavirus Lockdown 'For Three Weeks'

Mr Johnson said: "We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together and I therefore urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay and home, protect our NHS and save lives".

Mr Raab said: "We are strongly urging United Kingdom travellers overseas to return home now where and while there are still commercial routes to do so".

All shops selling non-essential goods, such as clothing or electrical stores, must close indefinitely.

The public will also be able to leave their home for exercise once per day, but parks will be patrolled to make sure there is no abuse of the rules.

"You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine - and you should do this as little as you can".

Boris said the government will be assessing these measures in three weeks time and relaxing them if it is deemed suitable but at present there are 'no easy options'.

A total of 135 people have recovered from the coronavirus within the United Kingdom.

His call came after the United Kingdom death toll hit 335 and British citizens travelling overseas were told to return home "while you still can". "We are working with the Executive to establish the Covid-19 grant support scheme, further rate relief and other measures to support local independent retailers in the next few months".

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His statement will come after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told citizens travelling overseas to return to the United Kingdom using commercial routes that are still running.

Another said: 'Thank you for making those hard but necessary decisions'.

Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "After another weekend of apparent public confusion and widespread non-compliance with "social distancing", of grave scientific warnings and courageous medical professionals talking of being sent to work like "lambs to the slaughter" with inadequate protective equipment, something has to change".

A strategy of "social distancing" remains part and parcel of the UK's coronavirus battle plan, which was announced by Johnson in early March.

When it comes to testing medical staff for Covid-19, Mr Hancock said he hoped this would take place "as soon as possible".

There were growing fears that Britain is on a similar trajectory to Italy - scene of the world's worst outbreak - where the death toll passed 5,000 over the weekend.

Gatherings of more than two people will not be allowed in public - with police given powers to enforce new restrictions.

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