January 22, 2021

Coronavirus: UK brings in strict curbs on life to fight virus

Boris Johnson has outlined strict new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on public gatherings of more than two people.

He said people should leave home only to exercise once a day, travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, shop for essential items and to fulfil any medical or care needs.

He also ordered the immediate closure of shops selling non-essential goods.

But police said they had received lots of calls asking what was still allowed.

As of Monday, some 335 people have died with the virus in the UK.

‘National emergency’
Speaking from Downing Street on Monday, the prime minister said the country faced a “moment of national emergency” and staying at home was necessary to protect the NHS, save lives and tackle “the biggest threat this country has faced for decades”.

Police and local authorities will have powers to disperse gatherings, including through fines.

The restrictions would be under constant review and a relaxation of the rules would be considered in three weeks, he said.

“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,” he said.

For the first time, all the UK’s mobile networks are sending out a government message on Tuesday morning to their customers with details of the new measures.

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