There are 6,724 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, with 335 fatalities and 140 people recovered. All public places including gyms, restaurants, retail stores, pubs, libraries, parks and playgrounds are closed and all social events halted. People at high risk are receiving an NHS text urging them to stay home for at least 12 weeks.
UK PM Boris Johnson, in a televised statement from the Downing Street, announced strict new measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction — you must stay at home,” the prime minister said in his address to the nation.
People “will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes: shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk or cycle, alone or with members of your household; any medical need to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and traveling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.”
Police will be allowed to enforce the new restrictions through the use of “fines and dispersing gatherings.” The restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks to see if they can be relaxed.
COVID-19 was confirmed in the UK in the end of January. On 3 March, the British government published its coronavirus action plan, which includes three phases: contain, delay and mitigate. Given the severity of the pandemic, all public gathering places including educational facilities have been shuttered since Friday and the government has told people to work from home.