Trips to see a doctor will be one of a limited number of movements allowed as the UK Government put people in lockdown starting today.
The stricter measures come as many people were seen to go against advice to stay at home to curb the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) – and protect the NHS from overcrowding – issued by the Government at the end of last week.
In a televised address to the nation last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said 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
- travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
Groups of over two people will not be allowed in public and groups will be ‘dispersed’. Police can issue fines for those who do not comply.
Mr Johnson said: ‘Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together. To halt the spread of this disease. To protect our NHS and to save many many thousands of lives.’
‘And I know that as they have in the past so many times. The people of this country will rise to that challenge. And we will come through it stronger than ever. We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together.
‘And therefore I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.’
BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘The Government has issued a very simple instruction – that people must stay at home – and it is absolutely crucial that they follow this. This is about saving lives, protecting the most vulnerable in society and ensuring that our NHS can cope and care for patients.
‘The BMA urges people to stay at home. Healthcare workers need everyone to help to battle this virus and save lives.’
The Government will also immediately:
- close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship;
- stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with;
- and stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals.