Monday, March 23, 2020

Britain on total lockdown as PM announces biggest ever restrictions on public freedom

Boris Johnson plunged the UK into coronavirus lockdown tonight - ordering the closure of all shops selling non-essential goods as well as playgrounds and churches.

Gatherings of more than two people will be banned in the most dramatic curbs ever seen in Britain in peacetime, as the government goes all out to stop the spread of the killer disease.

In a grim address to the nation from Downing Street, Mr Johnson said weddings, baptisms and other social events must be cancelled to stop the NHS collapsing under the strain - although funerals can go ahead.

People must only go out for essential supplies, medical help, or to travel to work if unavoidable. Going out for exercise will be allowed once a day, but parks will be patrolled to make sure there is no abuse of the rules.

Police will have powers to fine those who do not fall into line, and disperse any public gatherings.

Mr Johnson said his message to the public was simple: 'You must stay at home.' 

The premier was finally forced into the draconian move amid fury that many people are still flouting 'social distancing' guidance, with parks and Tube trains in London - regarded as the engine of the UK outbreak - still busy. 

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