Last night the Prime Minister announced further measures to increase the effectiveness of social isolation. This is a key part of the fight against coronavirus, as it stops the spread of the disease, which is often symptomless, between people going about their lives.
People will only be allowed to leave their home for essential supplies, one form of daily exercise or medical care. All non-essential shops and retailers will be closed. The transport networks will remain open for the use of key workers only.
Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures. The Government will therefore be ensuring the police and other relevant authorities have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings where people do not comply.
They will initially last for the three weeks from 23 March, at which point the Government will look at them again and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible. This is an unprecedented situation and the Prime Minister has been clear that he will regularly review the new conditions to see if any can be rolled back at the soonest opportunity.
The Government's Plan has three main objectives:
Social isolation to reduce the spread of coronavirus
You must stay at home, only leaving 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 immediate household.
• Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
• Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
Protect the NHS
You must stay at home to protect the NHS:
• The NHS only has a limited number of doctors, nurses and specialist equipment.
• The Government is working around the clock to increase NHS capacity.
• The more people who get sick, the harder it is for the NHS to cope.
• We must slow the spread of the disease so that fewer people are sick at any one time.
You must stay at home to save lives:
• Police will disperse gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding people you live with.
• Police will issue fines to anyone who does not comply with these rules.
• Police will close all shops that are not essential, as well as playgrounds and places of worship.
Guidance following the Prime Minister's speech is attached below.
You can access further information and official guidance guidance here.
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