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Coronavirus: people told to work from home and stop going to pubs as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ends 'non-essential social contact'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (Monday, March 16) announced that people should work from home and stop going to pubs and theatres in order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

People are being asked to avoid 'non-essential social contact' for three months if they are over 70, pregnant women, or those who have background health issues. This will come into effect at the weekend.

He said: "Some may think this is excessive but it is overwhelmingly worth it to slow the spread of the disease to reduce the peak, to save lives, minimise suffering and to give our NHS the chance to cope."

Coronavirus. (31503469)
Coronavirus. (31503469)

Describing the measures as 'draconian', Mr Johnson said that anyone living in a household where someone is showing symptoms which might be coronavirus should 'self-isolate' for 14 days and not leave the home except for exercise - and this should be done away from others.

He advised those affected in this way to ask others in the community to help them.

Mr Johnson said mass gatherings would not be support by emergency services from tomorrow.

He added: "I know we're today asking a lot from everybody. It's now much more than washing your hands."

Mr Johnson said he didn't believe it would be "necessary" to enforce the action. He said "most people would accept that we're a liberal democracy" and that "people understand the advice that's being given to them".

He said schools would be kept open.

The announcement was made during the first televised daily briefing from Government.

There are 1,543 cases in the UK an increase of 171 since yesterday. There are four cases in Lincolnshire.

Mr Johnson said cases would double every five or six days "without drastic action".

He added that "huge strides" were being made to ensure the NHS had everything it needed to cope with the crisis, including ventilators.

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