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Coronavirus: PM announces complete lockdown

PUBLISHED: 20:40 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:55 24 March 2020

Prime minister Boris Johnson speaking at a news conference inside 10 Downing Street. Picture: PA

Prime minister Boris Johnson speaking at a news conference inside 10 Downing Street. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

In a televised address to the nation about how vital it is to stop coronavirus spreading, Boris Johnson announced the public is only to leave the house for shopping, basic necessities, one form of exercise a day, any medical need, to provide care and to go to and from work only where absolutely necessary.

“It’s vital to slow spread of the disease protect NHS ability to cope, if you don’t follow the rules the police will have the power to enforce them, gatherings will be dispersed by police and fine will be enforced.”

All shops selling nonessential goods will be closed including libraries and all gatherings of more than two people in public are banned. This includes all social events such as weddings and baptisms, but excluding funerals.

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Mr Johnson added: “Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.

“And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger.

“To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it - meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well.

“Because that is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time, so we can protect the NHS’s ability to cope - and save more lives.”


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