The UK is undergoing emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which now means that the country is officially under coronavirus lockdown.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated the country must go under lockdown through a televised speech which has ordered the public to limit their movements outside of the home.
On Monday night, Johnson stated that in order to prevent the National Health Service from being overwhelmed by the coronavirus, people should now stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
From now on, people will only be able to leave their home if they need basic necessities, to take “one form of exercise a day” alone or with family members, to fulfil some type of medical need for themselves or someone who is vulnerable, and to travel to and from work if it’s not possible to work from home. Police have been given the power to enforce these new rules.
Johnson stated that the measures will be put in place for three weeks and will be reviewed afterwards. The length of the lockdown will depend on how the UK responds to these measures. So if the cases of coronavirus begin to decline, the lockdown could be lifted once in the review.
Johnson added: “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. And use food delivery services where you can.
“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”
If this lockdown does not ensure people stay at home, the Prime Minister could possibly bring in more measures. He could close businesses and stop people from going to work.
At the moment, public transport is still open as it will help key workers such as doctors and nurses, but this may change in the future if people do not abide by the new rules which have been put in place.