Coronavirus: Prime Minister Boris Johnson orders full lockdown and gives police extra powers to make sure people comply
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tonight ordered a full lockdown, saying people must only leave their homes for essentials, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a televised address, Mr Johnson also said he had given police extra powers to ensure peoplecomply with the new "instruction".
He described the coronavirus as an "invisible killer".
"Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a point where no health service in the world will be able to cope because there won't be enough ventillators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses. That is the moment of real danger.
"It's vital to slow the spread of the disease."
He said previous advice to stay inside had seen "huge numbers complying" but added: "The time has come for us all to do more. From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home."
He said people were "only allowed to leave their home for shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise a day alone or with members of your household, any medical need, travelling to and from work but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home".
All shops selling non-essential goods andother premises, including libraries, playgrounds and churches, are shut immediately.
Social events are also stopped, including weddings but excluding funerals.
"No prime minister wants to enact measureslike this. I know the damage this disruption is doing and will do to people's lives and their businesses and their jobs."
Mr Johnson said the measures would be "kept under constant review".
Mr Johnson said police would be given extra powers to ensure people comply with this, including fines and dispersing gatherings of more than two people unless they were from the same household.
"It is still true that many lives will still sadly be lost but it is also true that there is a clear way through."
He said people were buying the NHS vital time by simply staying at home.
Mr Johnson concluded by thanking those fighting the virus and healthcare professionals on the frontline.
"Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together and halt the spread of this disease," he said. "We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together."
More by this authorKerry Coupe